Youth footballer Paul (15) beaten to death at international tournament: clubs mourn, policymakers react shocked | Abroad

Youth footballer Paul (15) beaten to death at international tournament: clubs mourn, policymakers react shocked | Abroad
Youth footballer Paul (15) beaten to death at international tournament: clubs mourn, policymakers react shocked | Abroad

German football is in deep mourning after Paul’s death. During an international youth tournament in Frankfurt, the 15-year-old boy was beaten so hard that he did not survive. Paul was not only a talented and exemplary player, but also a loyal friend. Policymakers at all levels are shocked.

The drama took place on Pentecost Sunday. During the semi-final of the U17 at the ‘Germany Cup’ between JFC Berlin and FC Metz, players from both clubs came to blows after the final whistle. Many Brabant clubs were also present at the tournament.

According to the German newspaper Bild, a 16-year-old FC Metz player first attacked another opponent and hit him in the face with both fists. He then allegedly grabbed 15-year-old Paul and punched him in the stomach. However, the victim was able to free herself and run away. But the alleged perpetrator would have run after him and given him a firm blow to the head. Paul then collapsed and had to be resuscitated. He was taken to hospital. There, doctors determined that he was brain dead.

Paul was artificially kept alive for a few days so that he could donate his organs, the spokeswoman for the Frankfurt prosecutor’s office said. During the course of Wednesday, however, the machines were switched off. An autopsy will follow in the coming days to determine the exact cause of death.

His former youth club BFC Dynamo is also in mourning and published a photo of the boy with a mourning band. © BFC Dynamo

The chief prosecutor confirmed to German media that the French player had run off without offering any help. The 16-year-old boy has been arrested and is suspected of ‘inflicting serious bodily harm resulting in death’, according to Bild. According to his lawyer, the 16-year-old acted in self-defense and only punched the victim in the face, “Frankfurter Rundschau” reported.


Policymakers at all levels expressed dismay at the horrific event. “The horrific act of violence at an international youth tournament in Frankfurt shocked German football. During these hours, our thoughts and prayers go out to the 15-year-old footballer and his family. We have to relearn how to treat each other decently – and that means without violence in the first place,” Ronny Zimmermann, vice president of the German football association DFB, told the German news agency DPA.

JFC Berlin, the victim’s club, has expressed its condolences to the family. But refrains from making public statements about the drama as long as the investigation has not yet been completed and out of respect for the relatives.

Paul’s former football club, BFC Dynamo, is also in mourning. “Paul was an exceptional boy. He embodied the spirit of BFC with every fiber of his body. He was not only a talented player, but also a loyal friend and an exemplary member of our club,” a statement read on the website.

The French club FC Metz, where the alleged perpetrator plays, has also published a statement on its website. It states that the player in question denies having deliberately assaulted and injured the Berlin youth player. The club is at the disposal of the German authorities to continue the investigation. “The whole of FC Metz is deeply shocked by this tragedy,” it sounds.

The ‘Germany Cup’ writes on its website that the organization is ‘deeply shocked and incredibly saddened’ by the events. “The violence must stop.” The organization is in close contact with the club involved, the football association and the police. “We will use every opportunity to clarify this matter.”

Teams from sixteen different countries participated in the tournament, including the Netherlands.

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The article is in Dutch

Tags: Youth footballer Paul beaten death international tournament clubs mourn policymakers react shocked