Berlin – Schalke 04 board member Peter Peters has retracted comments he made suggesting midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng transferred from AC Milan to escape racism in Italy, which the Ghana star has denied.
On Monday, Peters told German website Sport Bild that Boateng's €12 million transfer from Milan last month was fuelled by a desire to escape racism in Italy, which the club's financial director later retracted.
“After consultation with our manager Horst Heldt, my assumption was completely wrong,” said Peters on the Schalke website.
“He confirmed that racist incidents were definitely not the reason for Kevin's move to Schalke 04.
“The next time I am at Schalke, I will personally apologise to Kevin straight away.”
Peters had caused a stir by telling Sport Bild that Boateng had quit AC Milan “because he really wanted to get away from racism”.
The Schalke boss added that Boateng, who joined AC Milan in 2010, had an agreement with club owner Silvio Berlusconi, the former Italian president, to leave once they qualified for the Champions League.
“My transfer had absolutely nothing to do with racism, it was only a sporting thing,” Boateng told German daily Bild on Tuesday.
Boateng's final match for AC Milan saw him score twice in their 3-0 Champions League play-off win over PSV Eindhoven on August 28 before he returned to the Bundesliga two days later and made his Schalke debut in the 2-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen.
In January, the 26-year-old hit the headlines when he stormed off the pitch during an AC Milan friendly at Lombardy's Pro Patria after receiving verbal racist abuse from the home fans. – Sapa-AFP