FRANKFURT: Jerome Boateng has expressed his regret at having been the subject of a racist attack by a right-wing German politician.
Alexander Gauland of Germany’s right-wing Alternative fur Deutschland (AfD) party said in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung on Sunday that he would “not want to have Boateng as a neighbour.”
After representing his country for the 58th time in a 3-1 defeat to Slovakia on Sunday, the 27-year-old expressed his disappointment at Gauland’s remarks.
Boateng said: “It’s sad that something like that still gets said nowadays. I’m happy to be German. I am proud, otherwise I would not be here playing for the national team. I think I’ve integrated well and I don’t think I have to say much more than that.”
The Bayern defender has received high-profile support from team-mates and other politicians.
It is not the first time a Germany international has been racially insulted ahead of a major tournament.
Patrick Owomoyela was victimised by the right-wing NPD political party prior to the 2006 World Cup, while Gerald Asamoah was also often targeted during his career as a Germany international.