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Eintracht Frankfurt defender Martin Hinteregger has officially retired from professional football amid links with a right-wing extremist.

The Bundesliga club announced the news on Twitter, with the 29-year-old having made 138 appearances for Frankfurt, chipping in with 14 goals during his time at Deutsche Bank Park.

Eintracht Frankfurt said on their website added:

On Thursday, June 23, 2022, Martin Hinteregger informed the board of Eintracht Frankfurt in a personal conversation that he would like to end his active career as a professional footballer and asked him to release him immediately from the obligations of his football team until June 30. June 2024 valid employment contract.

The board of directors complied with this request after intensive talks with the player and his advisor Christian Sand as well as after consultation with head coach Oliver Glasner and suspended the Austrian’s contract.

Martin Hinteregger is retiring from professional football with immediate effect after three and a half years with 138 competitive games for the Adlerträger (14 goals, six assists).

Martin Hinteregger added:

Last autumn I had my first thoughts of retiring after the season. I found myself in a difficult phase in terms of sport: my performance was fluctuating. The victories didn’t feel so good anymore, but every defeat hurt twice as much.

My performance boost in the spring and our joint successes in the Europa League motivated me all the more to say goodbye with a great sporting success. I enjoyed the Europa League win so much because I knew then that it would be my last big victory celebration with the fantastic fans in this city, which has become my second home.

I will only look back on my time at Eintracht with great gratitude and joy, continue to feel close ties to the club and its supporters and support the team as it continues through Europe as a fan.

Thank you to my teammates, the coaching team, the team behind the team, all employees and the sporting management for the trust, support and the fantastic time I was able to experience here – above all I would like to thank the fans who have always had my back, especially in difficult times.

In the past few weeks, a number of topics have arisen about my ‘Hinti Cup’, which I have held with heart and soul and with a clear conscience, the scope of which only became clear to me afterwards.

Emotional, maybe thoughtless words from me have led to irritation and I would like to apologize for that. I am very sorry. To say it again very clearly: I condemn right-wing, intolerant and inhuman ideas in the strongest terms.

Anyone who knows me knows that. First of all, I need to gain some distance and reorient my life. I’m grateful that Eintracht gives me the opportunity to take this step now.

Director of Eintracht Frankfurt football club Markus Krösche, added:

Martin Hinteregger has done great things for Eintracht Frankfurt in recent years and made a significant contribution to the club’s great development.

Martin’s decision was unexpected for us, but he gave us his perspective and reasons in an impressive and convincing way. Therefore, there was no question for us to comply with this sportingly painful but humanly understandable wish.

Martin’s step deserves respect and recognition. Not least because of his sincere apologies for his behavior over the past few days and weeks and his clear and credible distancing from right-wing ideas, he is always welcome in Frankfurt as a deserving player and European Cup winner.

We hope he finds his way after his active career and we wish him all the best for the future.

It comes just two weeks after it was discovered that the footballer was organising a football event with Heinrich Sickl, a neo-Nazi.

According to research by Austrian journalist Michael Bonvalot, Sickl is one of three equal stakeholders, along with Hinteregger, at Hinti Event GmbH – the organisers of the event that was due to be held at an estate owned by Sickl’s mother.

In response to the allegations, Hinteregger took to Instagram to clarify his position.

It is unbelievable that an unknown person can say such things about me. Like the Sickl family, I am rooted in Sirnitz, I wanted to show my appreciation and say thank you to the fans, patrons and supporters from my childhood with the ‘Hinti Cup’.

I have no knowledge of past or future activities on the part of the Sickl family, I just want a soccer tournament to take place and nothing more. Any business relationship with the Sickl family will be terminated with immediate effect due to the current state of knowledge, and the event ‘Hinti Cup’ will be examined alternatively to clarify a further course of action.

I have friends all over the world through my time in professional soccer and also privately, and clearly reject accusations that I am right-wing oriented, and continue to stand up against any kind of discrimination!

Austrian musician DJ Ötzi and Frankfurt rapper Vega are set to perform at the ‘Hinti Cup’ next week. Vega is a member of the Eintracht fan group Ultras Frankfurt 97.

By Amara

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