Union Berlin has imposed a one-week suspension on David Datro Fofana for his failure to shake his coach’s hand during the team’s defeat against Napoli in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Fofana, currently on loan from Chelsea to a Bundesliga team, ignored head coach Urs Fischer’s attempt to shake his hand when he was substituted in the 70th minute of their 1-0 loss to the Italian champions on Tuesday.
Fischer seemed to bump into Fofana, resulting in a brief physical encounter. This led to Fofana being substituted by Kevin Behrens on the field. The Union suffered their ninth defeat in a row across all competitions, with this being their third loss in three Champions League games.
On Thursday, Christian Arbeit, a representative for Union Berlin, stated that Fofana had offered his apologies to Fischer and the team’s sporting director, Oliver Ruhnert. Fischer expressed his desire for Fofana to grow from the situation and understand the importance of respecting decisions.
Fofana, who joined Chelsea from Norwegian club Molde in January for £8.7m plus add-ons, previously posted an apology to the Union team and supporters on Instagram, explaining he had wanted to stay on the field rather than be substituted.
“I did not mean to make that gesture and it does not reflect my true attitude,” stated the 20-year-old from Ivory Coast. “I was simply frustrated because I wanted to keep contributing to the team’s success and achieve a positive outcome.”
According to Arbeit, Fofana will not be able to participate in team training due to his suspension and will not be eligible to play against Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga on Saturday or against Stuttgart in the German Cup on Tuesday. However, he is expected to rejoin the team for training on November 1st.
Following his four appearances for Chelsea during the previous season, Fofana was subsequently loaned to a Bundesliga club in July. In his 11 appearances for Union, he has yet to score a goal, with his last competitive goal being in the Norwegian league back in November.