14 Apr, 2024 @ 09:45
1 min read

Football TV pundit is sacked in Spain over ‘racist joke’ aimed at Barcelona’s Lamine Yamal

Ben Pawlowski

A LEADING football pundit has been sacked from his role at a Spanish TV station after making a ‘racist joke’ about Barcelona star Lamine Yamal live on air.

German Burgos, 54, has been fired by broadcaster Movistar Plus+ after comments he made in the build up to Wednesday’s key Champions League quarter-final clash between Barcelona and Paris Saint Germain.

Yamal, 16, was shown doing kick-ups in the warm-up to the encounter in Paris when Burgos, who previously played for Atletico Madrid and Argentina as a goalkeeper, said ‘If he doesn’t do well, he’ll end up at a traffic light’.

German Burgos made the comments in the build-up to Wednesday’s crucial UEFA Champions League tie between Barcelona and PSG. Credit: Cordon Press

The comment is believed to make reference to poor people who beg drivers for money whilst vehicles are stationary at traffic lights.

Yamal, who made his first senior appearance for Spain at the age of just 16 years and 50 days, was born in Esplugues de Llobregat, Barcelona, to a Moroccan father and an Equatorial Guinean mother.

Burgos’ remarks sparked an outcry from both squads, with Barcelona and PSG players refusing to speak to the TV channel after full-time.

On Thursday morning, Movistar Plus+ confirmed they would ‘immediately cease their collaboration agreement’ with Burgos, adding that ‘Movistar Plus+ condemns any kind of discrimination and will not allow this type of comment from any of the employees or collaborators linked to the platform’. 

Lamine Yamal is regarded as one of Spain’s brightest prospects. Credit: Cordon Press

In a statement, Burgos said: “It was a comment made without intention to hurt anyone. We talk about football and nothing else. If he felt offended, I am sorry and I apologise publicly”.

He added: “My intention was not to denounce Lamine Yamal, quite the opposite. Football unites everything and everyone, which is why it is the best sport as it does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, religion, disability, age or sexual orientation. This is what I believe in”.

Barcelona won the first leg of the quarter-final tie 3-2 after a brace from Brazilian forward Raphinha – the second leg takes place this Tuesday, April 16 in the Catalunyan capital. 

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Ben Pawlowski

Ben joined the Olive Press in January 2024 after a four-month stint teaching English in Paraguay. He loves the adrenaline rush of a breaking news story and the tireless work required to uncover an eye-opening exclusive. He is currently based in Barcelona from where he covers the city, the wider Catalunya region, and the north of Spain. Send tips to [email protected]

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