Football: Breitbart apologises to Lukas Podolski for picture blunder

Vissel Kobe's Lukas Podolski of Germany celebrates scoring his first goal during his J-League football match against Omiya Ardija in Kobe, on July 29, 2017.
Vissel Kobe's Lukas Podolski of Germany celebrates scoring his first goal during his J-League football match against Omiya Ardija in Kobe, on July 29, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

Berlin (AFP) - Lukas Podolski has received an apology from ultra-conservative news website Breitbart, who used an image of the former Germany international alongside a story about illegal immigration, with the striker threatening legal action.

The website originally published an article entitled "Spanish Police Crack Gang Moving Migrants on Jet-Skis" with a picture of the former Arsenal star on a jet ski before it was swiftly changed.

The picture showed Podolski on a jet ski which was taken at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil where the German team were enjoying a day off.

The 32-year-old Podolski, who now plays for Japanese side Vissel Kobe and made his final international appearance in March, has been in touch with his lawyer.

"It's a mess. Lukas distances himself from it and won't let himself be exploited," Podolski's manager Nassim Touihri told German daily Bild.

"Our lawyer is already involved."

The picture was shared widely on social media before the website amended the article.

"A previous version of this story included an image of Lukas Podolski on a jet ski," read an editor's note from Breitbart.

"This image appeared as an illustration of a person on a jet ski.

"Breitbart London wishes to apologise to Mr Podolski.

"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."