“Money is the drug that can ruin this sport”

Florian Harms, editor of t-online, sees the future of top-flight football in jeopardy. Money could destroy it like drugs destroy cycling, he warned on “Maischberger”.

“It reminded me of the three monkeys: say nothing, hear nothing, see nothing.” The gesture of the German national football team, which was intended as a strong sign, met with little recognition in Wednesday’s edition of “Maischberger”, and not only from journalist Hatice Akyün. Florian Harms, editor-in-chief of t-online, didn’t just see gamers or politicians as responsible. For him, it’s about the survival of football. “Money is the drug that can destroy this sport, at least elite sport – just like drugs destroyed cycling,” he said. “We should talk a lot more about it.”

The guests

  • Boris Bondarev, former Russian diplomat at the UN
  • Carlo Masala, military expert
  • Gilda Sahebi, journalist born in Tehran
  • Florian Harms, editor of t-online
  • Hatice Akyün, columnist at the “Tagesspiegel”
  • Marcel Reif, football commentator

On the ARD talk show, Harms also called on fans to stand up and defend the integrity of the sport. “We’re at a point where we can’t say: Only politicians should show attitude. This is the biggest event we’re having in the world right now. You should be able to show values ​​in it if you really believe in it. .in those values,” he said. “But we can’t just ask the players that. It’s a bigger question and it touches on what’s really at stake here” – namely the money.

“It was not the right attitude”

Akyün would have liked more support for the German national team amid the debacle surrounding the FIFA-banned ‘One Love’ armband. “The attitude was not the right one”, criticized the journalist. “If you want to take a stand, you have to reckon with the consequences. Fifa has not decided what the punishment should be.”

A number of football fans are already World Cup losers. “I have a lot of friends who didn’t even watch today. There’s no World Cup fever,” Harms said. The Islamic scholar, on the other hand, already saw the emirate of Qatar as a winner. The small kingdom lives in constant fear of being conquered by its powerful neighbors.

The major football event was therefore brought to the country in order to position Qatar as a permanent fixture in the international community. “They have already become politically visible, through this whole process and also through the critical reporting. This is more important than not happening at all,” attested the t-online editor of the absolute monarchy , in which only about 300,000 Direct nationals.

“These guys are overwhelmed by it all,” said Marcel Reif of the German team. He accused European associations of skidding in the power struggle with Fifa boss Gianni Infantino: “Infantino wants to show Europeans where the hammer is”. His mood was also dampened by Germany’s first loss to Japan.

Reif admitted that he lacked a bit of imagination to imagine a victory for the federal troops against their next adversary, Spain. The Japanese deserved the victory. “They only recovered what the Germans left behind,” said the pundit and attested to the German team’s hair-raising mistakes: “You can’t play the World Cup like that.”

Iranian team review

The refusal of the Iranian team to sing the national anthem was seen as a much stronger sign in this country. The atmosphere in Iran itself is very different: “People expected them to do more,” says Gilda Sahebi, a Tehran-born journalist who fled to Germany with her parents as a child. The doctor writes for the “daily” (taz) and the “mirror”. However, she could understand the German reaction to the gesture, “because of course the German national team was not very brave. The difference is of course very noticeable”.

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