(dpa) – Hertha Berlin have parted ways with goalkeeper coach Zsolt Petry with immediate effect following homophobic and anti-migration statements.
The Bundesliga club said on Tuesday the management took the decision after Petry gave an interview to the Hungarian paper Magyar Nemzet, which the club was initially unaware of.
In the interview published on Monday, Petry made questionable statements on the subject of immigration and criticized Hungarian goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi of RB Leipzig for playing in a club that, among other things, supports gay marriage.
Petry said he didn’t understand what had led his compatriot Gulacsi to “stand up for homosexuals, transvestites and people of other gender identities”.
The statements were “not in line with the values of Hertha Berlin as a whole”, Hertha chief executive Carsten Schmidt said.
Petry defended himself saying “I would like to emphasize that I’m neither homophobic nor xenophobic. I very much regret my statement on immigration policy and would like to apologize to all the people who are seeking refuge with us and whom I have offended.”
Petry has worked for Hertha since 2015.
On the topic of migration he said in the interview “I don’t understand how Europe could sink so low morally as it has now.”
“Europe is a Christian continent, I don’t like to see the moral decline that is sweeping the continent down. The liberals are inflating the opposite opinions: If you don’t like migration, because an awful lot of criminals have overrun Europe – then they immediately accuse you of being a racist,” he said.