Anti-Islam German group outraged by ethnic boys on Kinder bars, turn out to be national footballers

A branch of PEGIDA took to Facebook to complain, failing to realise the boys were childhood pictures of squad members

PEGIDA, Kinder, Chocolate, Reigel, Ilkay Gündogan, Jerome Boateng, Ferrero

Football stars Ilkay Gündogan and Jerome Boateng featured on the limited-run Kinder packaging [Facebook]

Supporters of Germany’s vocal anti-Islam and immigration movement PEGIDA were left red in the face this week when their complaints that the faces on Kinder chocolate bar packaging had been changed to black and Middle-Eastern children were found to be false. The faces of the children, replacing the long-used blue-eyed and blond-haired boy, turned out to be the childhood photos of members of the country’s national football team.

Taking to Facebook to voice their ‘is-nothing-sacred’ outrage, the Bodensee branch of the movement, which debuted in Dresden in October 2014 and has since spread to a number of countries across the world, posted an image of the new-look packaging. “They’ll stop at nothing,” the poster wrote, adding: “Can you really buy them like this?”

Followers of the group added comments expressing incredulity that Ferrero SpA, the Italian parent company that owns the famous German chocolate brand, had included a black and Middle-Eastern boy on the Kinder Riegel labels. “They’re trying to pass this s*** off as normal, poor Germany,” one of the hundreds of critical comments read.

“This must be a fake, no?!?!?” another added.

But others soon started to comment that what the Bodensee branch of PEGIDA had failed to grasp was that Kinder’s marketing team had put childhood photos of the German national side’s football players as a limited-edition run ahead of next month’s Euro 2016 tournament in France.

The two boys to whom PEGIDA took such offence are Borussia Dortmund’s Ilkay Gündogan and Bayern Munich’s Jerome Boateng, both players who will represent Germany when Die Mannschaft take on the might of Poland, Ukraine, and Northern Ireland in France.

Responding to the controversy, Ferrero issued a statement on Facebook, The Local reported. “We at Ferrero would like to distance ourselves from any form of xenophobia or discrimination,” the Italian confectionery giant said in comments under a video introducing the football tie-in packaging.

“We don’t accept or tolerate this in our Facebook communities either.”

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