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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

National team: captain’s armband: DFB defends itself against AfD praise

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Rudi Völler speaks in an interview about the captain’s armband of the DFB selection. The AfD likes that – the German Football Association reacts to this with a clear statement.

The German Football Association is defending itself against a contribution by the right-wing populist AfD on the question of the national team’s captain’s armband.

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“In connection with the discussion about the captain’s armband, the DFB and its representatives in no way allow themselves to be taken over by the AfD or moved close to them,” said the association at the request of the German Press Agency. The AfD had previously expressly welcomed statements by DFB sports director Rudi Völler about a possible return to a captain’s armband in the Germany colors.

“Regardless of the design of the captain’s armband, black red gold stands for democratic values, for diversity, respect and community. And not for exclusion and intolerance,” said the DFB. Völler (62), who is responsible for the national team and the U21 selection, had taken a position on the “One Love” bandage in an interview with “Sport Bild”, which is said to stand for diversity and against discrimination. This captain’s armband had been banned by FIFA at the World Cup in Qatar, and the discussion had triggered great unrest around the DFB.

Voller for bandages in Germany colors

“From the gut, I would say: We should wear a captain’s armband in the Germany colors. That would calm things down a bit,” Völler replied when asked about the upcoming international matches on March 25 in Mainz against Peru and three days later in Cologne against Belgium. He understands that “from time to time a sign” has to be set. “But now it’s about football again,” said Völler.

“Away with the “One Love” bandage, bring on the black, red and gold: Thank you, Rudi!” The AfD tweeted on Wednesday, describing the “One Love” bandage as “silly”. Before the World Cup, the currently injured DFB captain Manuel Neuer also wore a rainbow captain’s armband. In this context, the rainbow is also a symbol for diversity and against discrimination.

For open training and an earlier start

Völler wants to get football fans more enthusiastic about the German national team with measures such as public training sessions and earlier kick-off times. “We want to be closer to the fans again. We know that that has been lost a little lately,” said the 62-year-old from “Sport Bild”. Völler expressed his confidence that in the future some of the games selected by national coach Hansi Flick could be kicked off earlier than last.

“We were thinking of a time between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.,” said Völler. This should make it possible for “younger fans to experience the national team again in the stadium or in front of the television”. President Bernd Neuendorf recently said that the German Football Association is still in “difficult” talks on this subject. “There are many players involved.” The DFB is tied to contracts with the broadcasting stations and also with the European Football Union UEFA.

Before the upcoming international matches on March 25 in Mainz against Peru and three days later in Cologne against Belgium, both of which will kick off at 8.45 p.m., Völler announced at least one public training session in Frankfurt. “In the end it’s all small things. The most important thing will always be how the team performs on the pitch,” he said.

Source: Stern

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