Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge admitted reports of racism at the club’s youth campus were troubling and said he expects action to be swift.
“There will also be consequences in the near future. Our internal investigations will be finished rather quickly,” he told Sky on Thursday. The comments were in relation to a report by German public broadcaster ARD alleging that a youth coach employed for years by the Bundesliga champions used racial slurs on numerous occasions in a WhatsApp group comprising various staff at the club’s youth campus.
Rummenigge added that such behavior was against the club’s values while the Munich Police department are also looking in to the matter.
The Sport Inside program reported that the club only started to take any action on Monday, despite the fact that four anonymous letters were sent to Bayern from parents of children at the youth training facility.
In recent days, a series of messages have been published, including some on a Twitter account that the club has dismissed as “fake.” The account was suspended by Twitter on Tuesday afternoon.
In the chat, the unnamed coach posted a photo of a truck with the inscription “Bimbo” and wrote underneath: “Transport. This is where N****** are transported from A to B.” The post was commented on with smileys by other members of the group, “obviously other coaches or scouts of the club,” according to the report.
It is also claimed that, in discussions about signing players, the employee would often employ racist language, including the phrase “camel jockey.” Several times, players are referred to as “dirty Turk” or other derogatory terms. The coach also suggested that the “last name doesn’t appeal to me” when discussing potential signings.
The chats, one of which refers to the Tunisian national team ahead of their 2018 World Cup match against England in disparaging terms, appear to be 2 years old but have come to light after several coaches left the youth training center recently, though not of their own accord.
The anonymous letters sent to Bayern were addressed to campus director Jochen Sauer, Rummenigge, then-president Uli Hoeness, sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic, and the sporting director of the youth training center and assistant coach of the first team, Hermann Gerland. They are believed to be from concerned parents.
In the letters, the youth coach is criticized not only for his sometimes homophobic and racist tone, but also for his training methods. There is talk of “sadistic” training which is unsuitable for the age of the players.
However, the club says it believes the letters to have come from a single source and see this as a “private feud.”