Borussia Dortmund progressed to the last-16 of the UEFA Europa League at the expense of Atlanta by virtue of a 1-1 draw in the second leg (4-3 on aggregate) but their qualification was overshadowed by what seemed like racist chanting by a section of La Dea fans towards opposition striker Michy Batshuayi and the outspoken Belgian took to Twitter to slam the distasteful gestures.
— Michy Batshuayi (@mbatshuayi) February 22, 2018
Atlanta, founded in 1907, are Serie A regulars and are based out of Bergamo, Lombardy.
The Italian league has been fraught with racists incidents over the years, with numerous instances of then-AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli being subject to racist chants but the Italian was not an isolated case as a number of African/African-origin players complained of monkey gestures and other distasteful noises being made in their direction.
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Neither club nor UEFA has issued an official statement, but it may not be long in coming as Batshuayi’s post has kicked up a storm on Twitter.
The likeable Belgian forward, on loan from Premier League giants Chelsea, has been in terrific form since shifting to Dortmund as he has scored five time and got an assist in five games for Die Borussen so far.
The 24-year-old, who has revitalised hopes of making Roberto Martinez’s World Cup squad with his form for the Bundesliga outfit, netted a brace against Atlanta as Dortmund edged the Italian side 3-2 in the first leg.
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And on Thursday, Die Borussen were in trouble as Rafael Toloi’s 11th-minute opener had the Italian outfit going through to the next round by virtue of the away goals rule.
However, substitute Marcel Schmelzer struck a 83rd-minute equaliser to ensure the German outfit kept their sole realistic hopes of lifting silverware this season alive.