Antonio German: Former QPR striker says racism forced him out of Malaysian club

By Matt DavisBBC Sport
Antonio German playing for a club side in India
German played for teams in England, Scotland and India before he joined Selangor in January 2019

Former QPR forward Antonio German says he left Malaysia Super League side Selangor after being told by fans he was "too dark to play" for the club.

The Londoner, 27, joined Selangor in January but left after a month, having scored once in three games.

After being booed during matches, he was sent racist messages on Instagram.

Selangor acknowledged "racist remarks" were made towards German, and said they had "blocked fans who repeatedly made racist comments on our platforms".

The club's coach, B Sathianathan, has also spokenexternal-link about receiving racist abuse.

Grenada international German has played for clubs in Scotland, England and India since leaving QPR in 2011.

After joining Selangor he got eight goals in 10 pre-season matches, then scored on his league debut.

Despite that, he says he was booed by some fans, then received messages on social media from a "minority" of supporters.

"When I realised the messages were about my skin colour, that was crazy - it was a massive shock," he told BBC Sport. "I have played in a few countries but never experienced racism.

"The third game of the season, I was playing well but didn't score and came off after 80 minutes. After the game I was told it was best to leave for my own protection.

"I was thinking, 'why am I getting punished for the behaviour of some of the fans?' But I decided to leave."

German played alongside Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling in the QPR youth team.

Sterling has spoken out against racism, and German says the England international's comments "resonated" with him.

He is now looking for a new club, but believes the experience in Malaysia is hurting his prospects.

"I am 27, I am in my prime and should be playing games," said German, who scored his first international goal in March.

"When clubs see I left [Selangor] they don't know the true story.

"I did love Malaysia, it's an amazing country. Most of the fans were great - it is just sad that move kind of hindered my career."

Selangor, who have supported anti-racism campaigns in Malaysia, said in a statement: "We acknowledge there were racial remarks made towards him online.

"He was also booed on occasion during matches in the stadium, but that was due to the perceived (from the fans' perspective) lack of effort from Antonio during matches in a period where the team was not playing very well.

"We have blocked fans who repeatedly made racist comments on our platforms from seeing our content again. Unfortunately, we do not have the vast resources needed to carry out punishments on fans who make racist comments in the stadium."

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