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Thursday, December 1, 2022

World Cup 2022: The German team must fly the flag to save reputation

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I have been working in the news industry for over 6 years, first as a reporter and now as an editor. I have covered politics extensively, and my work has appeared in major newspapers and online news outlets around the world. In addition to my writing, I also contribute regularly to 24 Hours World.
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The damage is there, on many sides. And now? After Fifa’s ban on pads and the withdrawal of the association, the team is now in demand. Neuer, Müller, Gündogan & Co. sets an example, flies the flag – and comes home with their heads held high.

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Giving up a dream voluntarily is painful. No question. Participation in a World Cup is the highest emotion for many footballers. Acclaimed by thousands of fans, fighting as a team and, to top it all off, the intoxication of success – high bonuses included. Who wants to say no to that? But what if your own values ​​are not only taken ad absurdum by participating, but trampled underfoot? When is the moment to bury your dream?

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I say the moment is now.

The dream of a happy football festival in a country that is committed to human rights and a host that lives its values ​​openly is dead. Qatar, Infantino and his Fifa have been sufficiently and justifiably scolded in the past few hours. But what about the players? As responsible, adult men, each and every one of them bears responsibility. Especially those like Leon Goretzka, Manuel Neuer and Ilkay Gündogan, who insisted on public commitments to human rights before the tournament started. The hour for integrity and strength of character has come. Fly the flag, ideally the rainbow flag, all wear the “One Love” armband in solidarity with the people who are not returning to countries where their rights are protected. Just do something!

World Cup 2022 and the bandage – at the crossroads

I had the greatest respect for Christoph Kramer, who stood up to all the arguments put forward by moderator Jochen Breyer in the ZDF studio. He repeatedly emphasized that from Germany, from the comfort of your own home, it was easy to demand more action. And yes, he is of course right on that point. But we will all have had moments in our lives when we were at a crossroads. Do we decide on our ambition, on professional or private goals, maybe even on money, knowing that we have not committed ourselves to others?

The 26 members of the team have to answer this question in these hours. It may be tough, because for one or the other it could be the last chance to take part in a World Cup. But being able to wear the jersey of the national team is not an end in itself. It’s not about spending a good time with nice colleagues and, ideally, winning the title. Manuel Neuer & Co. are equally representatives of Germany on the international stage and under global observation.

How great the pressure is not only from society but also from the economy will become clear on Tuesday. Rewe announces that it will waive its advertising rights with the DFB with immediate effect. According to Bild, CEO Lionel Souque said: “We stand for diversity – and football is diversity too.” Fifa’s “scandalous attitude” is not acceptable to him. The famous scrapbook with cards from the teams is now free. The proceeds so far will be donated. The move by the group shows once again that standing up for values ​​today is linked to money. People decide for or against manufacturers who do their utmost in terms of human rights or sustainability. The national team and the DFB should never forget this.

And if the players don’t show a clear sign of our values ​​on Wednesday and face the consequences, they won’t be able to go home with their heads held high.

Source: Stern

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