German far right politician Gauland makes remarks implying football star Jerome Boateng is unwelcome in his country.
People would not want football star Jerome Boateng as their neighbour, Alexander Gauland – vice chair of anti-immigration party Alternative for Germany – said in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Sunday.
Boateng was born in Berlin to a Ghanaian father.
"People find him good as a football player but they don't want a Boateng as their neighbour," Gauland told the Sunday edition of the newspaper.
The chair of Alternative for Germany, Frauke Petry, in comments to be published in Bild on Monday, said: "Mr Gauland cannot remember whether he made these comments.
"I would like to apologise to Mr Boateng anyway for the impression that was created."
Interior Minister Thomas de Maizier, in comments to Bild, said every German should be happy to have Boateng as their teammate, fellow citizen or neighbour.
Bayern Munich defender Boateng is a stalwart of Germany's national football team and is likely to feature in Germany's starting eleven at next month's European Championship, along with Turkish originated German winger Mesut Özil and other players with non-exclusively German backgrounds.
Disenchantment with chancellor Angela Merkel's welcoming stance towards refugees helped to propel the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany to strong results in regional elections this year.
Days earlier, supporters of German far right anti-Islam group PEGIDA criticised a confectioner's decision to print images of non-white soccer players on its chocolate bars instead of the usual picture of a blond-haired, blue-eyed boy.