Bierhoff blasts German politician's controversial Jerome Boateng remarks
Germany's general manager Oliver Bierhoff says controversial remarks by a German politician are not affecting Jerome Boateng, although he branded the comments "stupid."
Alexander Gauland of Germany's right-wing Alternative fur Deutschland (AfD) party said in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung on Sunday that he would "not want to have Boateng as a neighbour."
His remarks have drawn widespread condemnation, but Bierhoff says the Bayern Munich and former Manchester City defender has shrugged them off.
"Jerome's actually very relaxed and focused," Bierhoff told Germany's ARD television prior to the World Cup winners' 3-1 defeat at home to Slovakia on Sunday.
"It's not getting him down. But it isn't nice because it's raised a discussion he does not want to be part of.
"It's also stupid how his family are being hurt by this. These are things that he would not like to have in his private life."
The president of the German Football League (DFL), Reinhard Rauball, has given his backing to Boateng and condemned Gauland's comments.
"Jerome Boateng has the full support, in a sporting sense and as a person, of German professional football in its entirety," he said in a statement on bundesliga.com.
"The statement that one wouldn't want to have him as a neighbour is unjustifiable. Above all, it deliberately targets prejudices and plays politics with a prominent footballer.
"Football and society as a whole are urged to completely distance themselves from such thoughts. It cannot be tolerated and is beyond comprehension."
AfD leader Frauke Petry attempted to distance the party from Gauland's views when she tweeted on Sunday: "Jerome Boateng is a class footballer and rightly part of the German national team."