Saturday, July 11, 2020

Bundesliga: Fan representative speaks of “populist police statements

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Bundesliga DFL plans

“Fans are not stupid, they do not come to the games”

As of: 5:53 p.m. | Reading time: 3 minutes

Berliners support Tafel

In times of Corona, all Bundesliga clubs support local organizations and offer their help. So also Hertha BSC, who helps the Berliner Tafel with the distribution of food.

Police officials fear that the planned “ghost games” will bring together fans near the stadium and see “personnel challenges” coming up. These assessments cause great misunderstanding in fan circles.

DThe decision as to whether and when the Bundesliga can resume playing ghost games has not yet been made – but the scenario is already being discussed intensively and controversially.

Now the police have raised significant concerns. She apparently fears crowds of fans in front of the stadiums, in which the games, to which no audience will be admitted, are to be played.

“Such events, which also involve the arrival of fan groups, would present us with personal challenges,” said Erich Rettinghaus, the chairman of the German Police Union (DpolG) in North Rhine-Westphalia at the Düsseldorf “Rheinische Post.”

Fan representative criticizes police

This statement is widely misunderstood by fans. “This is utter nonsense,” Thilo Danielsmeyer from Fan-Projekt Dortmund e.V told WELT.

Bundesliga football with real spectators in the stadium will probably not be around for a long time

Credit: Bongarts / Getty Images / Lukas Schulze

“Fans are not stupid, they never come to the games. The Ultras in particular have communicated this very clearly in the past few days and weeks, ”says Danielsmeyer, an experienced street worker in the fan scene.

Rettinghaus’s statements are “populist” and therefore not very helpful, says Danielsmeyer. The comparison with events in the first ghost games that were already held five weeks ago is also not permitted.

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When the catch-up game between Borussia Mönchengladbach and 1.FC Köln was played without spectators on March 11, hundreds of Gladbach fans had gathered in front of the Borussia Park to support their team from the stadium forecourt.

Police see “risk of infection”

Such a scenario can now be ruled out, according to Danielsmeyer. Back then, Germany would have been at the beginning of the corona epidemic.

In the meantime, the rules of conduct and their importance have been internalized by large sections of society – also and especially by the fans. “Now everyone has understood it,” said Danielsmeyer.

“In detail: hygiene rules, distance requirements, contact rules”

With the first easing of the corona measures, some people return to their workplaces. That is why health and safety standards should apply nationwide. Federal Minister of Labor Hubertus Heil explains how these look in detail.

Police representatives remain skeptical, however. “No ghost games are allowed to take place for the duration of the ban. The risk of infection must also be minimized for players and referees, but also for team supervisors and employees of stadiums and radio and television stations, ”said Michael Maatz, deputy NRW chairman of the police union (GdP).

Kubicki supports DFL plans

In contrast, the German Football League (DFL) had repeatedly pointed out that the games should only be carried out with the appropriate safety measures and extensive tests by all those involved.

Coronavirus - Kubicki on Corona Measures

Wolfgang Kubicki (FDP) considers continuing the Bundesliga with ghost games as feasible

Source: dpa / Philipp von Ditfurth

The Bundesliga, on the other hand, receives support from politics. “From my point of view, there is nothing against it as long as it is guaranteed that we will not have a pack with viewers,” Bundestag Vice President Wolfang Kubicki (FDP) told TV station Sky Sport News HD.

The probability of infection is “relatively low” in games without an audience, says Kubicki, who assumes that the ghost games can be carried out. “I think the prime ministers will agree,” he said, “anything else would be absurd.”

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