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Hertha’s under-16s stop playing after alleged racist abuse

Hertha BSC v RB Leipzig - 1.Bundesliga

BERLIN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 9: fans of Hertha BSC before the Bundesliga match between Hertha BSC and RB Leipzig at Olympiastadion on November 9, 2019 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by City-Press via Getty Images)

City-Press via Getty Images

BERLIN (AP) Hertha Berlin’s under-16 team stopped playing a game at regional rival Auerbach after its players were allegedly subjected to racist abuse from their opponents on Saturday.

The Bundesliga club says in a statement on its website that “several players from our team were racially abused by their opposing players.”

Hertha officials informed the referee of the alleged abuse and decided to stop playing in the 68th minute while leading 2-0 “because we as Hertha BSC condemn racism and discrimination in every form,” the club said.

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Hertha executive board member Paul Keuter called it “the only correct decision, not to continue with the game.”

On Twitter, the club said: “There are times when football doesn’t come first. Racism has no place in our society.”

Hertha under-23 player Jessic Ngankam said he was targeted with monkey chants and called an “ape” by an opposing player during his side’s fourth division game against Lokomotive Leipzig on Dec. 6.

“Insults are unfortunately an everyday occurrence in football, and I can put up with them. But racist abuse is a no-go,” the 19-year-old Ngankam told broadcaster MDR.

Both Hertha and Lokomotive condemned the alleged abuse.

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More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

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Ciaran Fahey on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cfaheyAP