French football player Marcus Thuram has been with with a heavy fine and suspension after a disgusting act against a rival player.
The Borussia Moenchengladbach forward sparked outrage when it emerged that he had spat in the face of Hoffenheim defender Stefan Posch, during a recent game between the two teams.
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Footage of the disgraceful incident prompted outrage in the football world, given not just the current climate surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, but also the grotesque nature of the offence.
Many furious fans called on the German football federation to hit the forward with significant penalties in the wake of the incident.
The most disgusting act I've witnessed on a football pitch, especially given the current climate.
Marcus Thuram has to be banned until the end of the season, at least; perhaps until the pandemic is over.
Thuram, you’re a disgrace. #covid #football pic.twitter.com/VnnjZ0Y5mh
— Que Sera Media (@QueSeraMedia) December 20, 2020
Marcus Thuram is an absolute disgrace spitting should be an arrestable offense utterly disgusting #borussiamonchengladbach
— Jamie McCarthy (@James_Howlett1) December 21, 2020
Lowest of lows that 😷scumbag
— James Thomas (@jamesthommo2012) December 20, 2020
Marcus Thuram that is disgraceful
— G-WBA (@LocalBaggiesFan) December 19, 2020
why isnt he being charged. spitting on someone is a crime in my country England is it not a crime in Germany?
— kofi (@izyaboyk) December 21, 2020
A really big ban is needed here for Marcus Thuram, as that’s disgraceful. It’s a disgusting act in any event, but even more so with everything going on in Germany right now! https://t.co/XLfISXJz9o
— Karan Patel (@karanmufc87) December 19, 2020
On Tuesday (AEDT), the German football federation confirmed that Thuram would be banned for six matches, as well as fined 40,000 euros ($A65,000).
France international Thuram spat at Posch from close range when he confronted him off the ball and was sent off on Saturday, after a VAR review that upgraded the yellow card to red as Moenchengladbach lost 2-1 at home.
The suspension applies for all competitions which means that Thuram is not eligible for Tuesday's cup match against fourth-tier Elversberg and January Bundesliga matches against Bielefeld, champions Bayern Munich, Stuttgart and Bremen.
Gladbach coach Marco Rose said before the DFB ruling that Thuram would not have been picked for the cup match "regardless of a ban" with the club already having dished out a fine of a month's wages to be donated to a social cause.
Player sorry for disgraceful act
Rose said Gladbach and Thuram would accept any DFB ruling but also added that "he is part of us and we will support him in everything that is coming down on him."
Thuram, 23, apologised after the incident via social media and said he would "accept all the consequences" of his actions.
"Today something took place that is not in my character and must never happen. I reacted to an opponent in a wrong way and something occurred accidentally and not intentionally," Thuram wrote.
Gladbach sporting director Max Eberl said on Sunday the spitting incident was uncharacteristic of Thuram, the son of French World Cup winner Lilian Thuram, who joined the club from Guingamp in 2019.
Thuram was praised in May for taking a knee in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement amid protests over the killing of George Floyd.
"Marcus is devastated and he assured me that he did not deliberately spit at Stefan Posch, Eberl said.
"He told me that during an argument with Stefan Posch he cursed several times in French and that he involuntarily spat during a torrent of words and great excitement.
"Marcus made a huge mistake for which he'll be punished.
"Marcus remains the person we know and we won't let him fall."
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