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Scandal at the Vienna city derby: League shows Rapid

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Scandal at the Vienna city derby: League shows Rapid

After insulting and homophobic statements following the Vienna city derby, those responsible for the Austrian football club Rapid Vienna must expect suspensions and possibly points deductions. “In addition to SK Rapid, all players and officials who can be seen in the videos will be reported to Senate 1,” said the Austrian Football Bundesliga. Specifically, these are managing director Steffen Hofmann, assistant coach Stefan Kulovits, captain Guido Burgstaller, Marco Grüll, Thorsten Schick, Maximilian Hofmann and goalkeeper Niklas Hedl.

After twelve derbies in a row without a win, the capital city club had defeated local rivals Austria Vienna again, the 3-0 win on Sunday was the first prestige success since September 2019. The team then coached Robert Klauß, previously at 1. FC Nürnberg on the sidelines, cheered extensively in front of the home fans – and made several mistakes, as documented by video recordings circulating on social media.

Insults via megaphone

Managing director Hofmann insulted the guests, clearly audible through a megaphone. In addition, the team around former Bundesliga professional Burgstaller and Werder loanee Grüll sang homophobic chants. The content of these videos “is in no way consistent with the values” of football as a whole and the Austrian Bundesliga in particular, criticized the league officials. The comment period for the 32-time national champion is one week.

Even before the complaint, those responsible for Rapid had expressed remorse. “Unfortunately, we cannot undo these mistakes,” Burgstaller is quoted on the club website: “In this way, we would also like to clearly distance ourselves from any discrimination and homophobia and apologize to everyone who we directly or indirectly offended through our behavior have.”

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Hofmann had also apologized to his city rival on Monday and described his words as “absolutely inappropriate”: “The joy of winning the derby remains, as do my regrets about the choice of words.” Despite all the rivalry, this was not appropriate. Kulovits also acknowledged “a big mistake” and expressed his “sincere regret.” Burgstaller explained that the players had “unfortunately not lived up to their role model at all”.

Future Werder striker apologizes

Marco Grüll, who is joining Bundesliga club Werder Bremen in the summer, apologized via Instagram: “We as players have a certain role model function and we were in no way living up to that in this situation,” said the 25-year-old. Werder Bremen informed the German Press Agency that they did not want to comment on the incident in more detail. It was only said that the Green-Whites were in contact with Grüll and that he had shown insight. He “can only sincerely apologize and assure that we will bear the full consequences,” Grüll wrote. “Like my teammates, I clearly distance myself from any kind of exclusion,” he added. And: “Homophobia must have no place in our society.”

Published/Updated: Recommendations: 6 Published/Updated: Recommendations: 18 Published/Updated: Recommendations: 8

The incident is likely to cause discussions on the Weser. The organized fans and the club have been campaigning against discrimination and racism for years. At the beginning of February, Werder announced the signing of the Austrian international for the summer. The striker comes on a free transfer.

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