Heartfelt jubilation in Hungary: Goretzka & Co. as a social conscience – sport worldwide

Thumb and forefinger united at the heart in front of the chest. Eyes were fixed on the black mob in the stands. Look, love can not be denied!

With his goal celebration in the 2-2 group match against Hungary almost a year ago, Leon Goretzka delivered a huge and emotional moment in EM. On Saturday (8.45pm / RTL), the national football team will face Hungary again in Budapest and of course Goretzka has already been asked about the spectacle, beyond the great sporting significance of his goal. After all, she was a remote symbol of a generation of responsible football professionals who neither ignored nor ignored social issues.

“It came out a bit out of the gut, so a lot of things got lumped together, including the whole question of whether or not we should be allowed to light up Allianz Stadium with rainbow colours,” Goretzka said before the DFB team left for Budapest late. From Friday afternoon, which is why she fit so well, of course.

Dealing with social issues

Hungary and its fans, who behaved unpleasantly in Munich at that time, still sided with the reactionary forces in the social world of football. England players were booed last week for taking a stand against racism there, despite the fact that the stadium was supposed to be mostly children after the UEFA ban.

For German football stars, open discussion of social issues has always made sense – even the public expects them, and the fans love them or at least accept them. Goretzka’s goal was voted one of the 2021 goals by the German Football Association (DFB) fan club.

“Society has increased demands that you have to deal with certain topics, which was not a big deal in the 1960s and 1970s,” said Oliver Bierhoff. A situation along the lines of: “I am not interested in that, I play football, this is no longer possible,” said the Director of the Football Association.

Lots of action

The national team has long been running its sporting business under a social magnifying glass. It is a projection surface for almost all directions and subjects. The Corona pandemic with its many complex and controversial aspects was an example of this. Events are now literally lined up around the June 4 package from DFB-Elf in the Nations League.

In Herzogenaurach, Thomas Muller & Co with employees from sponsor adidas ran the Run for Oceans for Clean Seas. “They took selfies, had a little talk,” Goretzka said. A second hour of information from experts on the difficult human rights situation in World Cup host country Qatar followed in a panel discussion. Gritzka sat in the front row with Muller, Joshua Kimmich and Serge Gnabry.

kneeling together

To applause from the spectators, the Al Ittihad stars knelt together with the English ahead of their match at Allianz Arena on Tuesday. During the match, the scoreboard also showed the stadium lit up in rainbow colors from the outside. A year later, this symbol of free love also gained its luster after the highly criticized UEFA ban during the European Championship.

In his press conference before the start of the Nations League, the first question Goretzka inevitably asked was not about form and fitness in the DFB jersey, but about his “11 friends” cover in the referee’s appearance. The 27-year-old said that more respect for the referees is important to him.

Is there a danger of an overdose of social conscience now – half a year before the World Cup in Qatar? But I also ask that I understand that these are young people. Soccer professionals also make up a broad cross-section of society. There are people who are more interested and others who are more conservative, Bierhoff said.

cheer heart celebrate

Goretzka’s jubilation was also celebrated with the hymns because they were spontaneous and original and did not spring from a photo campaign of a scandal-soaked association and their official elite. “We know we have a wide range,” said Kimmich, Goretzka’s Bayern Munich teammate and German Football Association teammate.

Bierhoff has been balancing sports and politics for months. “There is no single truth,” said the director of the German Football Association at the Qatar workshop. Thomas Hitzlsberger, who was on video call from the United States and is now active as a DFB diversity ambassador, spoke of a “dilemma”.

Especially for players who are being asked to do more than just businesses that are more connected to Qatar. “I would appeal to players to only talk about the things they know about,” said Hitzlsberger, who was the only former national player to come out as gay.

Goretzka seemed a little uncomfortable at the memory of his heartbreak. “The best memory for me was scoring a beautiful goal that led us to the next round,” he said. According to Bierhoff, kneeling is not scheduled for Saturday in Budapest.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 220609-99-599803 / 4

Leave a Comment