Lukas Podolski considers legal action against Breitbart after 'migrants on jet skis' article

The right-wing website used a photo of the former Arsenal and Germany forward to illustrate an article about illegal immigration

Tuesday 22 August 2017 10:33 BST

Lukas Podolski is considering legal action against Breitbart after the right-wing website published a photo of him on a jet-ski to illustrate an article about illegal immigration.

The article was headlined "Spanish Police Crack Gang Moving Migrants on Jet-Skis", with a picture of the former Arsenal and Germany forward from the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Although Breitbart subsequently amended the article, removing the photograph of Podolski and publishing an apology in an editor's note at the bottom of the page, the image was nevertheless spread widely across social media.

Podolski's manager Nassim Touihri told German newspaper Bild the issue with the Breitbart article was "a mess".

"Lukas distances himself from it and won't let himself be exploited. Our lawyer is already involved," Touhiri said.

Breitbart had issued an apology when the article was updated, this time with a different picture.

"A previous version of this story included an image of Lukas Podolski on a jet ski. This image appeared as an illustration of a person on a jet ski. Breitbart London wishes to apologise to Mr Podolski," the editor's note read.

"There is no evidence Mr Podolski is either a migrant gang member, nor being human trafficked. We wish Mr Podolski well in his recently announced international retirement."

The website recently welcomed back former editor Steve Bannon after his dismissal from the White House as Donald Trump's chief strategist.

Podolski left Arsenal in January 2015 to join Italian club Inter Milan on loan, before then moving to Galatasaray in Turkey.

The 32-year-old World Cup winner made his final international appearance for Germany in March against England, scoring the only goal in a 1-0 victory in Dortmund, and now plays for Japanese side Vissel Kobe.

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