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Martin Hinteregger retires at 29 after outrage over links to Austrian Neo-Nazi figure

Austrian defender Martin Hinteregger retires at 29 after outrage over ties to neo-Nazi figures as he apologizes for ‘ill-advised words’… with Eintracht Frankfurt calling his decision to quit ‘unexpected’ and ‘painful’

  • Martin Hinteregger announced his retirement from football at age 29
  • His retirement comes after links to a former neo-Nazi figure were revealed
  • The Austrian considered quitting earlier this season due to poor form
  • He still has a contract for one year with the German Eintracht Frankfurt

Martin Hinteregger has announced his retirement from football at the age of 29, just two weeks after links with neo-Nazi figures emerged.

His resignation comes after fierce backlash over reported connections to far-right political figure Heinrick Sickl, according to standpoint

The centre-back had a one-year contract with Eintracht Frankfurt, who described the decision as “unexpected” and “painful”. Hinteregger has since distanced himself from Sickl.

Martin Hinteregger announced his retirement from football at age 29

Martin Hinteregger announced his retirement from football at age 29

He said: ‘Over the past few weeks there have been a number of issues surrounding my ‘Hinti Cup’, which I ran with passion and the best of intentions, the implications of which only became apparent to me in retrospect.

“Some of my emotional and perhaps unwise words have irritated me and I apologize for that. I very much regret that.

“To make it clear again, I condemn right-wing, intolerant and inhumane ideas in the strongest possible terms. Those who know me know that.’

He played 67 games for Austria and was part of the team eliminated by Italy at Euro 2020

He played 67 games for Austria and was part of the team eliminated by Italy at Euro 2020

The Hinti Cup is a youth tournament set up by the former Austria international and his former business partner Sickl, and took place earlier in June the revelation that Sickl was a former member of the Austrian neo-Nazi movement in the 1990s.

Sickl has also leased real estate to the controversial Identitarian Movement Austria, which opposes multiculturalism and advocates ethnopluralism.

Hinteregger also took to Instagram to insist that he was unaware of Sickl’s past, saying: “I have no knowledge of past or future activities on the part of the Sickl family – I just want a football tournament to take place and nothing more.

Hinteregger (right) won five Austrian Bundesliga titles in six senior seasons with RB Salzburg

Hinteregger (right) won five Austrian Bundesliga titles in six senior seasons with RB Salzburg

Hinteregger took to Instagram to distance himself from claims he knew Sickl's links

Hinteregger took to Instagram to distance himself from claims he knew Sickl’s links

“Any business relationship with the Sickl family will be terminated with immediate effect due to the current state of knowledge, and the ‘Hinti Cup’ event will be alternatively investigated to clarify further developments.”

Hinteregger was part of Eintracht Frankfurt’s squad that won the Europa League this season, making 36 appearances for the Bundesliga outfit this season, scoring once.

However, Hinteregger revealed that he had considered retiring earlier in the season after a poor start in 2021/22.

The Austrian was part of Eintracht Frankfurt's side, beating Rangers to win the Europa League

The Austrian was part of Eintracht Frankfurt’s side, beating Rangers to win the Europa League

He said: ‘Last fall I was already thinking about quitting at the end of the season. I was in a difficult period on the field: my performances were shaky.

“The victories didn’t feel so good anymore, and every defeat hurt twice as much. My improvement in the spring and our joint successes in the Europa League made me even more motivated to finish with a great sporting success.

“That’s why I enjoyed the Europa League win so much, because I already knew it would be my last big win party with the fantastic fans in this city, which has become my second home.

In 136 Bundesliga appearances, Hinteregger scored 14 goals and contributed six assists

In 136 appearances for the Bundesliga, Hinteregger scored 14 goals and contributed six assists

“I will remember my time at Eintracht with great gratitude and joy, continue to feel close to the club and their fans, and support the team as a fan on their further journey in Europe.

“I would like to thank my teammates, the coaching staff, the backrooms, all the staff and the sporting management for the trust, support and great time I have had here.

“I especially thank the fans, who have always supported me, even in difficult times.”

He previously earned credit for discussing depression and mental health in his autobiography

He previously earned credit for discussing depression and mental health in his autobiography

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