"With regard to our eFootball PES franchise, we will be requesting FC Barcelona as a club partner to explain the details of this case and its future actions"
Konami has dropped Antoine Griezmann as its Yu-Gi-Oh! ambassador following a recent racism controversy.
The French forward and his teammate Ousmane Dembele had come under fire after a leaked social media clip showed the pair mocking Asians.
In the clip, three Asian hotel technicians are seen gathering around a TV, attempting to fix it.
Dembele, who films behind the camera, says to Greizmann, “All these ugly faces, just so you can play PES [Pro Evolution Soccer], aren’t you ashamed?”
Griezmann doesn’t say anything but laughs along with his teammate.
As the technicians continue their work, Dembele then says, “what kind of backward language is that? Are you technologically advanced in your country or not?”
Reports suggest that the video was likely from 2019, based on Griezmann’s haircut.
Griezmann issued a statement on Monday apologising for the incident. “I have always been completely against all forms of discrimination,” he tweeted in French.
“For the past few days, certain people have wanted to paint me as someone that I am not. I firmly refute the accusations made against me and I’m sorry if I have offended any of my Japanese friends.”
Konami has since announced that it will drop Griezmann as an ambassador with Japanese anime series Yu-Gi-Oh.
“Antoine Griezmann has had his contract with Konami cancelled after a controversial video emerged of him and teammate Ousmane Dembele on Barcelona’s tour of Japan in 2019,” Konami said in a statement.
Griezman was announced as an ambassador back in June.
“Konami Digital Entertainment believes, as is the philosophy of sports, that discrimination of any kind is unacceptable,” Konami said in a statement.
“Previously we had announced Antoine Griezmann as our Yu-Gi-Oh! contents ambassador, however in light of recent events we have decided to cancel the contract.”
Konami, the developers behind PES, also asked FC Barcelona to explain their players’ behaviour.
“With regard to our eFootball PES franchise, we will be requesting FC Barcelona as a club partner to explain the details of this case and its future actions.”
Konami has a close relationship with Barcelona, issuing special club editions of PES involving promo work with its players including Griezmann.
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