Dortmund angered by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s masked celebration

Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has hit out at Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s sponsors Nike after the attacker’s masked goal celebration in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Schalke.

After scoring his 24th goal of the Bundesliga season, Aubameyang, 27, put on a mask that was later identified as being part of a “The Masked Finisher” campaign by Nike.

It was the second time in less than a month that the Gabon forward had promoted the sponsor while playing for Dortmund, where sportswear company Puma is both a shareholder and the kit supplier.

“This behaviour is unworthy of a big corporation,” Watzke told Bild.

“It can’t be that we have to force through the economic interest of Nike in this way. Our partner is Puma.”

In a statement, Puma said: “We are surprised that a competitor puts a player in such a situation.”

Bild added that Aubameyang — booked for his celebration by referee Felix Zwayer — is set to be fined €50,000 by Dortmund, for whom Nike supplied kit over two spells in the 1990s and 2000s.

Speaking at a news conference ahead of Tuesday’s meeting with Hamburg, Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel said: “The club hierarchy has said that there will be talks.

“It’s right to treat that matter on the club politics level. I can focus on the sporting side.”

Tuchel said he was aware that Aubameyang had “planned something” and added: “We didn’t know what exactly.

“We believed it might be a sequel to his Batman/Spiderman celebrations. It makes things more difficult now.”

But he added that the attacker did not bear grudges over any punishments.

“You can address harsh criticism when talking to him, and punish him, and he won’t bear grudges but rather will try to understand the other side,” he said.

“He can keep things on a factual level. This is what singles out a top professional.”

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