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Bayern's Alaba brushes off English insult

The Local · 30 May 2012, 15:53

Published: 30 May 2012 15:53 GMT+02:00

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"How do you do?" asked clueless Günther Platter, head of the state of Tirol, in English when greeting David Alaba at a training camp. The assumption was that Alaba was not from Austria.

The football website goal.com reported on Wednesday that Alaba, who is known around the world for his lightning reactions in the service of Bayern and Austria, assured Platter, “You can easily speak German with me. I’m Austrian.”

Alaba, 19, who has a Filipino mother and Nigerian father, was born in Vienna and raised in the Austrian capital – he is often to be seen playing for his national team, and was Austrian Footballer of the Year in 2011, the youngest player to receive that honour.

Platter's effort at English was all the more embarrassing because he used to be Austrian interior minister – and his former ministry oversees sports in the country.

“I am, as one can see, no football expert, and would like to apologise for this faux pas,” Platter said in a statement for the website tirol.ORF.at.

Story continues below…

“I thank David Alaba for his serene reaction and wish him and the Austrian national team success at the two friendly matches in Innsbruck.”

The Local/mw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

18:03 May 30, 2012 by zameenzad
Its time to mentally accept that Black/Brown can be German and Austrian too.
20:15 May 30, 2012 by Englishted

True but what about Afro-Americans, Irish -Americans,Turkish -Germans.

How long before they become , American,American,German ?.
20:29 May 30, 2012 by lucksi
I don't see how that could possibly be viewed as an insult if you try to speak to someone in what you think is their language. I'm not offended if I'm on holiday in some non-caucasian country and someone speaks English to me even though I'm German.

I'm also not expecting from someone who looks foreign to speak German. Simple reality of living in a city with 20% of the population having foreign roots.
21:27 May 30, 2012 by Leslie44
I rather fear that this article pre-empts the thing about black/brown. So many Germans and Austrians, in particular, are "brown" in their way of thinking - that is why "black" people still get talked to as though they were foreigners - and why they get bananas thrown at them on football pitches, too.
05:54 May 31, 2012 by john p sullivan
The headline of this article is itself intentionally missleading, insulting and cheap journalism.
08:42 May 31, 2012 by frankiep
So this is what passes for an insult today? What a joke.

Insult? No.

Honest mistake? Yes.

There's a difference.
10:38 May 31, 2012 by IchBinKönig
One time I asked a waiter where the bathroom was. Only it was the bartender. He nearly kicked my arse.
12:12 May 31, 2012 by Johnne
Sorry Herrn Platter, he´s Austrian. Why didn´t he speak German to him first, and then see if he would understand him. Anyway who cares? go on broth...keep flying the Naija-Austiran flags...the process is improving the Nigerian-Austrian-German relationship. Black people are proud of you jooooo!!
13:31 May 31, 2012 by green idea factory
Ja, the title of the article is stupid but both of these guys seem very nice.
14:22 May 31, 2012 by Kosmonaughty
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
15:06 May 31, 2012 by Sayer
Ain't no big deal. I speak to everyone in English first, after all it is THE international language. And they'll never learn it if they don't hear it. Surprisingly, folks respond very positively. Now if TV would just stop that ridiculous dubbing.....
15:17 June 1, 2012 by Bruno53
Adolf Hitler and Dr Joseph Goebbels will be completely confused in how much Austria and Germany have changed in six decades after these idiots were gone.
15:25 June 1, 2012 by Dejo
No offense intended, no offense taken.

If I were visiting in Germany I might unthinkingly address a black guy in English, because he'll remind me of my Canadian friends and neighbours. However if you're in your own country, you might try the national language first.
01:01 June 2, 2012 by franconia
And Blacks are not pissed if spoken to in German? Get real People ! Where have you been lately.
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