Barcelona have issued a statement apologising to their Japanese fans and club partners over the video that has recently come to light involving Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele.
The video, which was taken during Barcelona‘s pre-season tour in 2019, shows the pair mocking the hotel staff in Japan, and has been interpreted by some as a racist incident.
The video has particularly enraged the CEO of Rakuten, the club’s main sponsor, as well as Konami, one of the club’s key partners, with the latter cancelling their contract with Antoine Griezmann.
“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 Dembele and Antoine Griezmann] displayed a lack of respect in their attitude towards several employees in the hotel in which they were staying,” read Barcelona‘s statement.
“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.
The club went on to state that they are committed to ensuring that such an incident never happens again.
“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,” continued the statement.
“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.”