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Kimmich slams survey that says 1 in 5 Germans want more white players

HERZOGENAURACH, Germany –

Germany midfielder Joshua Kimmich has slammed as “absolutely racist” a survey and its findings that one in five of his compatriots would prefer more white players on the national team.

The poll of 1,304 randomly selected participants was commissioned for national broadcaster ARD’s documentary “Unity and Justice and Diversity”, which is to be shown on Wednesday. Some 21 per cent of those surveyed said they would prefer it if more players with white skin were playing for Germany.

“Anyone who’s grown up with soccer knows this is absolute nonsense. Soccer in particular is a good example of how you can unite different nations, different skin colors and different religions,” Kimmich said Saturday. “That’s what our team is all about. I would miss a lot of players if they weren’t here. This is absolutely racist and has no place in our changing room.”

Kimmich was speaking in Herzogenaurach, where the Germany is holding a training camp for the upcoming European Championship. The 27-man squad is mixed and includes Black players.

“When you consider that we are about to host a European Championship at home, it’s absurd to ask such a question when the aim is actually to unite the whole country,” Kimmich said. “It’s about achieving great things together. As a team, we’re trying to get everyone in Germany behind us.”

Germany warms up for Euro 2024 with friendlies against Ukraine in Nuremberg on Monday and Greece four days later in Mönchengladbach.

The host nation gets the tournament underway June 14 against Scotland in Munich. It then plays Hungary in Stuttgart on June 19 and Switzerland in Frankfurt on June 23.

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