Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele ‘apologises’ for video abusing Japanese hotel workers

Barcelona and France winger Ousmane Dembele has issued an apology over a video in which he appeared to racially abuse Asian hotel workers after it went public last week, while his teammate and co-star Antoine Griezmann has also issued a statement.

Dembele, who was playing for France at Euro 2020 before they were knocked out by Switzerland, issued a statement via an Instagram Story, the platform’s self-deleting videos.

“Hello everyone,” Dembele wrote in French, “lately, a private video from 2019 circulated on the social networks.”

The 24-year-old confirmed that the scenes were shot in Japan, where the Spanish giants last toured that year. Barcelona’s shirt sponsor Rakuten and video game partner Konami are both based in Japan.

However, Dembele said that what was shown in the video, which has seen him accused of both racism and classism, could have happened anywhere.

“The scene happens in Japan. It could have happened anywhere on the planet, I would have used the same expressions. Therefore I was not aiming at any community.

“I happen to use this kind of expressions in private, with friends, and it doesn’t matter their origin.

“This video is now public. Therefore I concede that the video could hurt the people in these images. Therefore, I offer my sincere apologies.”

- South China Morning Post