Barcelona and France star Antoine Griezmann has been removed as a Yu-Gi-Oh! ambassador by Konami as new footage has emerged of him and teammate Ousmane Dembele mocking Asian workers.
France was knocked out early from the 2020 European Championships, coming in as heavy favorites but heading home in the round of 16 to an unexpectedly strong Switzerland side, losing on penalties.
That said, the footage appears to come from earlier, with many fans assuming it’s from Barcelona’s pre-season tour of Asia.
While both players have released statements apologizing for the incident, Konami have put out their own statement, confirming they’ve dropped Griezmann and requesting an explanation from Barcelona.
Dembélé: "All these ugly faces just [for us] to play PES, aren't you [Griezmann] ashamed."
Dembélé:"Oh fuck, what a language"
Dembélé:"You're [supposed] to be developed as a country, aren't you?"
— +Barça (@plusbarca_) July 3, 2021
“Konami Digital Entertainment believes, as is the philosophy of sports, that discrimination of any kind is unacceptable,” Konami explained to open their 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.”
The Japanese publisher is also partnered with Barcelona in eFootball PES, similar to the likes of Italian side Juventus. On that, Konami confirmed that they “will be requesting FC Barcelona as a club partner to explain the details of this case and its future actions.”
Barcelona have not yet made a public statement in response, but with the vast financial difficulties they’re facing, they won’t want to be losing friends and partners.
Griezmann first became a Yu-Gi-Oh! ambassador back in June 2021, so the partnership didn’t last long at all, barely scratching the two-week mark.
Similarly, fellow footballer Mesut Ozil was removed from Chinese versions of PES after he took a stance regarding Uighur Muslims reportedly being kept in prison camps in Xinjiang.