With its decision to award the EM 2024 to Germany, the Uefa is playing it safe. But is that also good for German football?
Not a minute after Nyon’s decision, DFL President Reinhard Rauball had already sent his press release into the world – with the usual “a good day for German football” on such occasions. The declaration had of course long been prepared, the decision of the Uefa to award the European Championship 2024 to Germany could not surprise anyone.
“I feel the responsibility”, said DFB boss Reinhard Grindel after the 12:4 vote of the Uefa executive. He must have felt the additional relief. After all, today’s public day had also been turned into something like a judgement about Grindel’s presidency. The EM application was a matter for the DFB’s boss – an award for Turkey would have been a setback that Grindel might not have survived in office. “Personnel discussions are superfluous”, he said after the decision. Nevertheless, they did exist.
With its vote, the Uefa has certainly decided in favour of the number. Germany has the infrastructure, the stadiums will be full under guarantee. In addition, the subsequent use of the arenas is guaranteed in all cases. There are white elephants, i.e. stadiums that stand unused in the area after the tournament like foreign bodies and dawn on their decay, in the Ukraine or Brazil, in Germany they will not exist. Internationally, one still enjoys the reputation of a country that can organize.
The Executive Committee has also spared itself the debate as to whether a tournament can be held in a country where the human rights issue arises. It would inevitably have flared up if the organisation of a European Championship had been entrusted to Erdogan’s presidential system. So far, international football officials have not given priority to human rights issues. And one can already speculate about whether the decision would have been the same if Turkey had not got into currency turbulences. In Germany, on the other hand, the Uefa can be sure that it will end up with a plus.
The Uefa is spared the human rights debate
But at least the issue of freedom of expression and freedom of the press appears in the Uefa evaluation report on the European Championship applicants as a minus point for Turkey, which would not have happened before. The hope that the awarding of a major sporting event could help soften the hardships of a regime has now proved to be an illusion anyway, whether in China or Russia. Qatar will be the next example.
In Germany the officials are cheering, Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer speaks of a “great success”, Bavaria boss Karl-Heinz Rummenigge states: “This will certainly look good on German football”. In general, the tenor is clear and could already be heard from the Bundesliga everywhere in the previous days: According to BVB Managing Director Hans-Joachim Watzke, this decision will “be good for football as a whole”.
Will the amateurs have to suffer?
But that has yet to be seen. In any case, there is a danger that in the coming years almost everything at the DFB will be geared towards the “lighthouse project” EM 2024. The remaining resources of the association will be directed towards the development of the academy. It is doubtful whether amateurs, women’s football, anti-racism projects – more important than ever after the fall of Özil – or integration issues will still be raised. Red Stag Casino Bonus is the coolest online casino gaming site you can ever encounter.
One wants to celebrate “a gigantic celebration with whole Europe”, said delegation leader Philipp Lahm, from now on OK boss of the EM. After the SPIEGEL revelations about the World Cup affair, the association with the 2006 summer fairy tale is no longer so casual and relaxed. Major sporting projects have finally lost their splendour, in Germany but also elsewhere. Too often and too much they are now inextricably linked with gigantism, corruption, building sins, commercial overkill and nepotism. There was still no sign of EM fever around the decision in the country. Joy yes, euphoria no. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
Joachim Löw, who had travelled to Nyon and presented the application to the Executive Committee together with Lahm, said afterwards: “Now we are very happy”. When has he been able to say that this year?