Fifa World Cup: Sweden’s Jimmy Durmaz takes a stand against ‘terrorist’ and ‘Taliban’ barbs after Germany defeat

The midfielder is supported by teammates as he speaks out in the wake of the race hate storm that has followed his side’s 2-1 loss

PUBLISHED : Monday, 25 June, 2018, 1:20pm
UPDATED : Monday, 25 June, 2018, 1:20pm

Sweden midfielder Jimmy Durmaz says the racist abuse aimed at him over social media following the 2-1 loss to Germany at the World Cup has been “completely unacceptable”.

After coming on as a substitute, Durmaz gave away the free kick that led to Toni Kroos curling in an injury-time winner in Saturday’s group game. Durmaz has since been subjected to online abuse, including threats to his family.

Before a training session on Sunday, Durmaz – standing in front of the rest of the Sweden squad and beside coach Janne Andersson – read out a statement to the media from a mobile phone.

“When you threaten me, when you call me ‘Arab devil’, ‘terrorist’ and ‘Taliban’, then you have gone far beyond the limit,” Durmaz said.

“And even worse, when you go after my family, my children, threaten them. Who does such a thing? It is completely unacceptable.”

Durmaz turned to the squad at the end of his statement, who joined him in saying “f**k racism”. Durmaz was born in Sweden to Assyrian parents who emigrated from Turkey.

Fifa World Cup: Sweden’s Jimmy Durmaz unfazed by social media race hate storm after his mistake led to last gasp Germany loss

“I am Swedish and I am proud to play in the Swedish national team. That’s the biggest thing you can do as a football player,” he said. “I will never let any racists destroy that pride. We must all stand against all forms of racism.”

The Swedish FA has reported the abuse toward Durmaz to police.

“We do not tolerate a player being exposed to threats and violations,” said Hakan Sjostrand, secretary general of the Swedish FA. “It is unpleasant and very upsetting to see the treatment that Jimmy Durmaz has suffered. Completely unacceptable.”

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The loss to Germany left Sweden tied on three points with its opponent. Both countries are three points behind Mexico with one game left. Sweden plays Mexico in Yekaterinburg on Wednesday, with Germany taking on South Korea at the same time.