There is excitement in football country. There is talk of the shame of Hoffenheim. Bundesliga games have been interrupted. There is a debate about discrimination in football. There is talk of the crackdown. Fans are criticized. There is talk of her being punished, of breaking a taboo. A game had been interrupted the week before because the referee considered the behavior of Borussia Monchengladbach fans unacceptable.

They had shown Dietmar Hopp, the owner of TSG Hoffenheim in the crosshairs. They also insulted him as a “son of a bitch”. For a week there was a debate about Hate speech out of the curves and discrimination. On this game day, she experienced a new high when fans of FC Bayern once again called Dietmar Hopp a “son of a bitch”. What’s actually going on in the league?

It was Karl-Heinz Rummenigge who probably involuntarily placed the events in a context without which the history of the insults against the billionaire cannot be traced. It was known that the fans were planning something, said the boss of FC Bayern Munich after the 6-0 victory of his team and after ten minutes of play, in which the two teams pushed the ball back and forth so that together they disliked the behavior of the Bayern fans to express.

Solidarity action was planned in favor of the active fan scene of Borussia Dortmund. The club had been condemned by the sports jurisdiction of the DFB due to the fans’ continuing criticism of Dietmar Hopp to travel to Sinsheim without supporters in the next two years. The DFB had actually assured the curves and clubs that it would no longer issue collective penalties for individual offenses. And now that.

Kraichgau exit myth

In response to this, the Gladbach fans unpacked their already well-disposed hatred of the Hoffenheim model a week ago and reactivated their almost silent “son of a bitch” chants towards Dietmar Hopp. For years they were part of the Soundcloud in every Bundesliga stadium where TSG Hoffenheim ran.

The village club from Kraichgau, which was hoisted into the Bundesliga by the billionaire Dietmar Hopp, has long been considered the epitome of evil for the traditional soccer players of the long-established clubs. The fact that the DFB has changed its rules for Hopp, among other things, according to which investors are only allowed to hold 49 percent of the votes in a club, has only made criticism of the Hoffenheim oligarch model even louder.

After the rise of RB Leipzig, which was only possible by circumventing existing protection rules tolerated by the DFB against excessive influence from investors, the hatred of the fan scenes shifted to the east. A top club had emerged there, in which football is sensibly worked, but which is nothing more than a marketing tool for soda. The fact that Leipzig had obtained a license and, unlike Hoffenheim, had not climbed from the lowest leagues to the top, made the club all the more contemptible in the eyes of the ultra-scenes, which are steeped in tradition. Leipzig replaced Hoffenheim as a hate object.

But in Dortmund, the anti-hopp folklore continued to operate with all dedication. The multi-billionaire started using legal means to defend himself against the insults from the stands. There were convictions against Dortmund fans, who could be proven by means of surveillance cameras and directional microphones that they called “Dietmar Hopp, you are a son of a bitch”.

What the fans report about the trial before the district court, for example, that no attempt was even made to check whether Hopp’s criminal complaint was filed in time, certainly did not help to strengthen belief in the functioning of the rule of law in Hopp’s home region.

Unforgettable among Dortmund fans are the background noises, which could not be missed during the BVB game at Hoffenheim in 2011. A shrill whistle sounded from the equipment installed in the guest area under the stadium roof whenever Dortmund fans started singing. Many fans did not want to believe the TSG Hoffenheim statement that an employee “arbitrarily used the appropriate equipment” as an “antidote” to the anti-hopping chants. In any case, it is no wonder that anti-hoppism is particularly pronounced in Dortmund.

Solidary fan scenes

It ultimately led to the DFB imposing that collective penalty against which the most diverse fan scenes have now shown solidarity. When it comes to “modern football” and the DFB, fan groups that are otherwise hostile to the spider sometimes pull together. And so anti-hoppism is rampant in Bavaria as well as in Cologne or Monchengladbach.

The fact that long-practiced rituals such as the anti-hopp manifestations are suddenly attracting as much attention has to do with a new guideline that the DFB has given its referees on the way. They are expected to implement the three-step plan that referees can use to respond to misconduct by fans.

The first stage provides for the following measure: “If the referee perceives racist or other discriminatory insults, he should interrupt the game and request a corresponding stadium announcement.” In the second stage, the game should be interrupted, as was done in Hoffenheim. The third stage provides for the game to be abandoned if the fans continue to behave incorrectly.

In 2009, Uefa included such a three-stage plan in its regulations, thus responding to the growing racism in many stadiums in Europe. Fifa adopted the regulation in its disciplinary code ten years later. Accordingly, action is to be taken if the arbitrators “despise, discriminatory or derogatory words or actions (no matter in what way) based on race, skin color, ethnic, national or social origin, gender, disability, sexual orientation, language, religion, political views, income, birth, or other status or reason.

Insult and discrimination

In the area of ​​the DFB, this anti-discrimination rule is now being consistently implemented for the first time. It’s not about racism. The DFB considers the insulting statements towards Dietmar Hopp to be discriminatory. Association president Fritz Keller said after the game interruptions on Saturday on ZDF that the referees should continue to act against Hopp abuse. “We have hatred and jealousy in society as a whole, which is reflected in all of football. Now is the time to take action, ”he said. And: “Clubs have to think about which fans they give the tickets to.”

FC Bayern Munich is said to have already picked up the club in this regard and does not want to let the ultra-group “Schickeria” into the stadium anymore. It is known for its anti-fascist approach. The memory of the Jewish club boss Kurt Landauer, who was driven out by the Nazis and which FC Bayern is so fond of, would not have existed without the “Schickeria” memorial work. In the end, the application of an anti-racism paragraph by the DFB could result in a stadium ban for anti-racists.

© The Eastern Herald
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Studied humanities in Punjab. Trying to understand Indian Politics. Writing about Technology, Education, Brands, Business, and much more. Writer at The Eastern Herald.