Swedish player who gave away match-winning free kick against Germany hits back at racist trolls
"We stand together. We are Sweden. F**k racism."
Having conceded the crucial, match-deciding free kick in the dying seconds of the World Cup Group F match against Germany on Saturday night, Sweden's Jimmy Durmaz was likely feeling pretty awful about himself.
Toni Kroos duly swept the ball into the top corner with an audacious moment of nerve and skill, with Sweden ultimately blowing their early advantage over the world champions.
Shortly after, Durmaz, born in Sweden to Assyrian parents, was targeted online by racist trolls with an axe to grind.
His Instragram account, which averages a modest amount of comments on a normal day, blew up, with his most recent post amassing over 36,500 comments at time of writing.
Among those comments; a torrent of racial abuse and threats of physical violence towards Durmaz.
Swedish police are expected to investigate the incident, and the Swedish FA have also stepped in to defend their player.
"A police complaint has been filed," confirmed General Secretary Hakan Sjostrand.
"The Swedish Football Association filed it so that Jimmy can focus on what he is here for - to play football."
Durmaz, who was also defended by his teammates, took the time on Sunday to address the situation following a training session.
Flanked by his squad and coaching staff, the winger read out a powerful speech that concluded with the following words:
"I'm Swedish, and with pride I wear this shirt and our flag," he began.
"At the same time, I want to thank all the wonderful people out there who are spreading happiness. We stand together. We are Sweden. Fuck racism."
Those final two words were echoed by those standing with Durmaz, and rightly so.