Far right anger as multi-ethnic Germany team replaces blond boy on Kinder packaging


Photos of Germany's national football team on packages of a popular chocolate brand have prompted online outrage among the country's far right because they include childhood pictures of players of migrant origin.

Ferrero swapped the usual blond boy on its Kinder bars ahead of this summer's European Championships for photos of German players as children.

Packages of a popular chocolate bar with childhood pictures of German national soccer players, from top, Jerome Boateng, Lukas Podolski and Ilkay Gundogan
(Ferdinand Ostrop/AP/PA)

Among them are Jerome Boateng, whose father is from Ghana, and Ilkay Gundogan, whose parents are Turkish.

A regional branch of the anti-Islam Pegida movement asked on Facebook: "Is this a joke?"

Others expressed outrage on Wednesday and threatened boycotts.

Tommy Frenck, the owner of a restaurant catering to the far right, said on Facebook the pictures "make it very easy to give up chocolate" and urged a boycott "until marketing bosses have come to their senses".

A package with a short bio of national soccer player Jerome Boateng sits on a package of a popular chocolate bar with a childhood picture of Ilkay Gundogan
(Ferdinand Ostrop/AP/PA)

The German satire magazine Titanic was quick to react, posting a "PEGIDA-Edition" spoof of the chocolate bars sporting childhood photos of Adolf Hitler and Anders Behring Breivik, the far-right Norwegian man who killed 77 people in a 2011 rampage.

Ferrero, which is based in Italy, said on its Facebook site devoted to the German "Kinder" bars that it was against "any form of hatred of foreigners or discrimination".

"We also don't accept or tolerate this in our Facebook communities," the company said.