After his disrespectful statements about the Ukrainian head of state, DFB Vice Hermann Winkler is under pressure within the association. Today, the state and regional heads are discussing how to deal with him.
At today’s DFB conference in Cologne, the regional and state association presidents want to close the piquant case involving DFB vice president Hermann Winkler as far as possible.
“We are a football association and actually want to take care of football in the region. Mr. Winkler covered that up a bit with his statements,” said Bernd Schultz, President of the Berlin Football Association, of the German Press Agency: “It is important to me that we somehow get this issue cleared up – with whatever consequences.”
How serious the consequences for Winkler, who had made disparaging remarks about the Ukrainian head of state Volodymyr Zelenskyj, will be, is open. “There will be no request for deselection from us and no demand for resignation,” said Saxony-Anhalt’s association leader Holger Stahlknecht, who called Winkler’s statements “clumsy”: “The clear messages of the conference must be: restraint, be aware of the role model function, the Don’t instrumentalize sport politically.”
Former CDU politician Winkler described Selenskyj as a “former Ukrainian actor” in an Instagram post, without naming the Ukrainian president. The president of the Northeast German Football Association later announced via Facebook that he would not write the entry again. He apologized for “the irritation caused” and wrote that he condemned the aggression of Russian President Vladimir Putin. However, he does not personally agree with everything Zelenskyj does.
DFB boss Bernd Neuendorf had sharply condemned Winkler’s statements and announced further talks in a round with the regional and state association presidents. “The president said he’s making that an issue. Then we’ll wait for further discussion,” said Schultz. “I don’t want to speculate what other colleagues think of it, I’ll let myself be surprised.”
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