'Absolute disgrace': Star's 'disgusting' act sparks ugly backlash

Andrew Reid
·4-min read
Pictured here, Marcus Thuram can be seen spitting in the face of a rival player.
Marcus Thuram has been fined and suspended for spitting in the face of a rival player. Pic: ESPN/Getty

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.

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.

Seen here, Marcus Thuram and Stefan Posch clashing in the Bundesliga.
Marcus Thuram and Stefan Posch clashed during their recent Bundesliga match. Pic: Getty

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."

with AAP

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