Bayern Munich has been called racially insensitive after it tweeted a photograph of some of its players celebrating the Halloween in expectedly outrages costumes.
In the photo, one player appears to be wearing traditional Arab attire and is holding a box that looks like a package bomb, with caution stickers and wires coming out of it.
The individual turned out to be Brazilian national Márcio Rafael Ferreira de Souza – otherwise known as ‘Rafinha’- who has since tendered an apology on his official Twitter Account.
‘Halloween is a scary celebration with exaggerated costumes, it was not my intention to anger anyone through my disguise or hurt someone’s feelings,’ tweeted Rafinha.
Halloween is a scary celebration with exaggerated costumes, it was not my intention to anger anyone through my disguise or hurt someones feelings. pic.twitter.com/ZZumqzpLBD— Rafinha Official (@R13_official) November 1, 2018
The Bundesliga club quickly deleted the photo, but not before a number of Twitter users had accused Bayern of racism, with one saying: ‘Seriously?… someone dressed up as BOMBER(?).’
Another wrote: ‘This is sick … not all Arabs bombers, it looks funny for you but you don’t know how you are affecting others.’
Yup. German Soccer definitely doesn’t have a problem with racial sensitivity. Definitely. https://t.co/XsoO8dVq15— Mike L. Goodman 🔥 (@TheM_L_G) November 1, 2018
Just imagine if somebody dressed up as a German determined to bomb a bus full of star German soccer players. Which is a thing that actually happened like 18 months ago.— Mike L. Goodman 🔥 (@TheM_L_G) November 1, 2018
One Twitter user referenced a 2017 attack on another Bundesliga club, saying: ‘Just imagine if somebody dressed up as a German determined to bomb a bus full of star German soccer players. Which is a thing that actually happened like 18 months ago.’
Borussia Dortmund’s team bus was attacked after a German-Russian citizen allegedly planted a bomb at the side of the road.
Only three months ago, Mesut Ozil quit the German national team over what he said was racist treatment from the media and the president of Germany’s football federation (DFB) Reinhard Grindel.
‘[I] will no longer be playing for Germany … whilst I have this feeling of racism and disrespect,’ he said.
Grindel admitted the organization could have handled the situation with the Arsenal player better even though he disagreed with the accusation of racism.
‘Of course, I have been asking myself what I could have done differently,’ said Grindel in the statement.
‘Looking back, I should have clearly stated what is unquestionable both for me and the association: that racist hostility in any form is unacceptable, intolerable and insufferable.’
In August, Germany coach Joachim Loew said: ‘Nowhere within my team during my time here, there has been not even a hint of racism.’
The dominant force in German football, Bayern have won six consecutive Bundesliga titles, though this season after an uncertain start lies second with 19 points from 9 games, two points behind Dortmund.