DFB-Vizepräsident vergleicht Nationalspieler mit “Äffchen” und schießt gegen eigenen Verband
DFB Vice-President Ralph-Uwe Schaffert compared the German internationals to “monkeys” because of the “mouth-to-mouth gesture” before the World Cup game against Japan. He sharply criticized his own association.
At the New Year’s reception of the Lower Saxony Football Association (NFV), which he chairs, Schaffert said according to a report in the Hildesheimer Allgemeine Zeitung that the World Cup in Qatar was also “a great disgrace” from a socio-political point of view. “When the German internationals cover their mouths like little monkeys and order their hairdressers to come to the hotel, you shouldn’t be surprised if they lose to Japan,” said the former presiding judge at the Celle Higher Regional Court on Sunday (January 15, 2023).
Before the 2-1 World Cup opening game against Japan on November 23, 2022, the German players covered their mouths for the team photo. In doing so, they also protested against the world association FIFA, which, according to the DFB, had threatened “unlimited sporting sanctions” in the event that goalkeeper Manuel Neuer would appear with the much-discussed “One Love” captain’s armband. After the ban, the national team decided on the “mouth-to-gesture” after controversial discussions, including among the professionals.
DFB reacts: “You don’t do it”
“If you accuse our national players of ‘covering their mouths like little monkeys’, then that’s not the case,” said Ronny Zimmermann, the DFB’s first vice-president, on Monday to Schaffert, who had made other statements at the New Year’s reception in Hildesheim were directed against the DFB, in which he himself has been Vice President for socio-political tasks, DFB foundations and statute issues since March 2022.
So Schaffert called the discussion about World Cup hosts “mendacious and hypocritical”. He rumbled: “If a World Cup is only to be held in countries that you find good yourself, then there won’t be many left.” In this context, Schaffert accused the public broadcaster, but also aimed at DFB President Bernd Neuendorf: “German companies have earned tens of billions there (in Qatar, ed.) with various projects. I have no criticism of that heard – neither by the DFB nor by anyone else.”
Rebuke of the association after a statement on the women’s World Cup
The allegations are all the more explosive because, according to information from the sports show, Schaffert was reprimanded months ago for being more cautious in public. In November he shared Neuendorf’s positions, himself describing the award to Qatar as a “mistake” and welcoming the initially rejected support for Gianni Infantino’s re-election, but this snub by the FIFA President diminished the prospects of the bid for the 2027 Women’s World Cup to get.
Schaffert is said to have been suggested by the DFB to leave the communication on such sensitive sports-political issues to others.
Germany wants to apply together with the Netherlands and Belgium to host the 2027 Women’s World Cup as soon as this is formally possible. South Africa has also announced similar intentions. The rejection that Infantino feels from a few but powerful associations in Europe could actually play a role in the award, which is expected to take place in the summer of 2024.
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