Barcelona have issued an official statement in response to widespread criticism of stars Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele following the emergence of a video of the duo appearing to mock hotel staff in Japan.
The Catalan giants had stayed quiet on the matter until now but have now come up with a statement and a public apology.
Here’s the statement in full:
“FC Barcelona deeply regret the displeasure amongst Japanese and Asian fans and partners of our Club caused by a video that appeared a few days ago on social media in which two first team players (Ousmane Dembélé and Antoine Griezmann) displayed a lack of respect in their attitude towards several employees in the hotel in which they were staying.
“This attitude in no way coincides with the values that FC Barcelona represents and defends.
“The values of the Club and its partners should be something that FC Barcelona protects, and this belief is present at all levels of the organisation, from the Board of Directors and executives to the players in the Club’s various sporting teams.
“The Club is committed to improving its education on questions of race, discrimination and diversity. At FC Barcelona there is no place for racism or discrimination.
“FC Barcelona would like to apologise publicly to all the Club’s fans and partners who feel unhappy about this event from the summer of 2019, a time when the Club’s responsibilities fell to a Board Directors and executive team previous to the current. The Board of Directors that today manage the Club are committed to making sure episodes of this nature do not repeat themselves.
“The players have already shown their regret and have apologised to Japanese fans and partners, something that the Club values. Nevertheless, FC Barcelona reserve the right to take the internal measures that it considers appropriate.”
Griezmann and Dembele issued apologies on social media earlier this week but the fallout has continued. Rakuten CEO and founder Hiroshi Mikitan branded the players’ actions “unacceptable” in a tweet and said he would “protest officially against the club.”
Meanwhile, Konami has dropped Griezmann as its ‘Yu-Gi-Oh’ contents ambassador in the wake of the video. The company said in a statement “discrimination of any kind is unacceptable” and “in light of recent events we’ve decided to cancel the contract.”