'This is racism': Japanese fans kicked out of football match over coronavirus fears
RB Leipzig has apologised after some Japanese fans were reportedly ejected from the club's Bundesliga match against Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday due to fears of coronavirus.
The Bundesliga club admits security staff made a mistake during the 1-1 draw at the Red Bull Arena.
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Coronavirus has spread from Wuhan in China to countries across the world, with tens of thousands of confirmed cases and thousands of deaths worldwide.
Leipzig hopes to make amends by contacting supporters affected by the incident to invite them to a future game.
"In accordance with recommendations from the Robert-Koch-Institute (General Principles of Risk Assessment and Recommendations for Course of Action at Large-Scale Events), the ground's security personnel had been instructed to intensify checks regarding the admission of certain groups due to potential risk," read a Leipzig statement.
Our statement on yesterday's incident involving Japanese spectators. #RBLeipzig apologises for the mistake and would like to make amends. pic.twitter.com/4VrKw5Aa8X
— RB Leipzig English (@RBLeipzig_EN) March 2, 2020
"Unfortunately, in this instance, amidst the great uncertainty surrounding this topic, by which we are currently also affected, a mistake was made on our part with respect to our Japanese guests.
"In light of this mistake, we would like to extend our apologies."
Fans turned to social media to clam the incident was unacceptable.
This is called "RACISM". As a former Leipzig resident and still a big fan of RB Leipzig, I am deeply disappointed by such mentality.
— Kosuke Okahara (@kosukeokahara) March 2, 2020
This is racism
— JS 🇷🇺🇩🇪 (@JS_SZN) March 2, 2020
This incident should never be acceptable and please do not let such things happen again in the stadium.
— 浅野 雄太 / Yuta Asano (@YutaAsano1) March 2, 2020
Leipzig's next home match comes on Tuesday, March 10 against Tottenham in the Champions League last-16 second leg.
Julian Nagelsmann's men, who lead Spurs 1-0 on aggregate, host Freiburg in the Bundesliga four days later.
"We are already trying to get in contact with the fans in question to invite them to our next home game to try and make amends for the incident," continued the statement.
"As for our handling of the coronavirus issue, we will continue to work thoroughly and on a daily basis with the authorities in order to try and reach the best possible solution for all of our guests."