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Hertha Berlin dismiss Lehmann as advisor for racist jibe


(FILES) In this file photo taken on April 14, 2021 former goalkeeper Jens Lehmann is seen prior to the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg football match between BVB Borussia Dortmund and Manchester City in Dortmund, western Germany. Former German international goalkeeper Jens Lehmann was excluded from the board of Hertha Berlin on Mai 5, 2021, hours after the publication of a WhatsApp message where he asked whether the Sky consultant former German football player Dennis Aogo was part of a “black quota.” Ina Fassbender / POOL / AFP

Former Arsenal and Germany goalkeeper Jens Lehmann has been dismissed from the supervisory board of Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin after making a jibe about a TV pundit’s race via WhatsApp, it was confirmed Wednesday.

Lehmann had sat on the Hertha Berlin supervisory board as an adviser to the club’s major shareholder Lars Windhorst, boss of Tennor Holding.

“We have terminated the consultancy contract with Jens Lehmann. This also ends his activity on the supervisory board of Hertha Berlin,” a Tennor Holding spokesman told AFP subsidiary SID.

The 51-year-old, a member of Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ in the 2003–04 season, was shown the door by Hertha after inadvertently sending a WhatsApp message to former Germany defender Dennis Aogo, whose father is Nigerian.


The 34-year-old Aogo appeared as a pundit during the Champions League semi-finals for Sky on Tuesday and in the WhatsApp message sent to Aogo, Lehmann asked “Is Dennis actually your token black guy?”

Aogo took a screen shot of the message and posted to his 81,000 followers on Instagram with the caption “WOW, are you serious? @jenslehmannofficial The message was probably not meant for me!!!”

Lehmann attempted to explain his comment on Wednesday via Twitter.

“In a private message from my mobile phone to Dennis Aogo, an impression was created for which I apologised in conversation with Dennis,” Lehmann wrote on his Twitter account.

“As a former international, he is very knowledgeable and has a great presence and brings ratings to Sky.”

Lehmann did not say who his original message was intended for.

Lehmann succeeded Jurgen Klinsmann on Hertha’s supervisory board in early May last year.

Hertha Berlin president Werner Gegenbauer welcomed the club’s decision.

“Hertha Berlin distances itself from any form of racism. We therefore welcome the step taken by Tennor Holding,” he said.


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