Ralf Rangnick leaves trio out of Austria squad after homophobic chanting following Vienna derby

Austria head coach Ralf Rangnick has left three players out of his squad for their March friendlies after they were involved in homophobic chanting following last month’s Vienna derby.

Rapid Vienna’s Guido Burgstaller, Marco Grull and Niklas Hedl were among those filmed signing homophobic chants after their side’s 3-0 win over city rivals Austria Vienna on February 26. Videos of their actions appeared on social media, prompting apologies from Rapid, Burgstaller — the club captain — and Grull.

But Rangnick has now not selected the trio — who were last called up in October — for Austria’s games against Slovakia and Turkey on March 23 and 26 respectively.

“(The players must) seriously address this issue and understand what it means for people when they are publicly insulted and discriminated against in such a way”, Rangnick said, via German outlet Sportschau. “That is something I will not tolerate in my team.

“Everything we stand for with the national team is diametrically opposed to the other end of the value scale.”

The day after the incident, Rapid released a statement saying: “You can see and hear inappropriate and insulting statements that should not have been made like that and for which SK Rapid as a whole can only ask for forgiveness.”

Guido Burgstaller (middle) has been capped 26 times by Austria, scoring twice (Georg Hochmuth/APA/AFP via Getty Images)

Guido Burgstaller (middle) has been capped 26 times by Austria, scoring twice (Georg Hochmuth/APA/AFP via Getty Images)

That statement also included an apology from Burgstaller, who said: “Unfortunately, we cannot undo this mistake.

“In this way, we would also like to clearly distance ourselves from any discrimination and homophobia and apologise to anyone who we have directly or indirectly offended through our behaviour. We are aware that we have a role model effect, and unfortunately, we absolutely did not live up to this role with our actions after the game.”

Grull took to social media to apologise, posting on Instagram: “I would also like to take this opportunity to personally apologise to everyone for the words I said after the Vienna derby.

“As players, we have a certain role model function and we certainly did not fulfil this in this situation. I can only sincerely apologise for this and assure you that we will bear the full consequences.

“Like my team-mates, I also clearly distance myself from any kind of marginalisation; homophobia must have no place in our society. In conclusion, all that remains to be said is: sorry!”

Rangnick has been in charge of the Austria national team since April 2022. The 65-year-old former Manchester United interim manager guided Austria to qualification for this summer’s European Championship in his native Germany, where they will face France, the Netherlands and the winner of one of the qualification play-offs.



How Ralf Rangnick transformed Austria and took them to Euro 2024

(Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

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