Bastian Schweinsteiger is said to be preparing to take legal action against the makers of a Nazi soldier doll called Bastian that bears a striking resemblance to the German international.
Tabloid newspaper Bild have called it a “dirty Chinese slur” on the captain of the national team, reporting that Schweinsteiger’s lawyers have begun proceedings to prevent the sale of the German World War II army supply duty figurine that is set to retail at around £72.
Chinese toy manufacturer Dragon in Dream (DiD) spokesman Patrick Chan said:
We offer no figures based on the football. The resemblance is purely coincidental.
The figure is based on a typical German.
We believe most Germans look like this, Bastian is a common name in Germany.
However media lawyer Ulrich Amelung told the paper that he believed Schweinsteiger has a strong case:
This is a clear violation of Schweinsteiger’s personal rights.
Every person has the right to their own image.
Furthermore the depiction of a swastika-wearing Wehrmacht soldier constitutes gross defamation and offence.