Doping – With the Leniency Notice – Sport

In Munich these days you can see the best example of the consequences it can have when an athlete unpacks about doping in front of criminal investigators. For a quarter of a year the trial against the former sports doctor Mark Schmidt and possible accomplices has been going on there before the Regional Court II. In the previous year, a suspected blood doping ring was uncovered, an extensive network spanning various sports and nationalities, and with every day of the court new abysses and ramifications open up. At the beginning of this whole process called “Operation Aderlass”, however, was that the former Austrian cross-country skier Johannes Dürr, 33, testified to the investigators.

The Dürr case is, of course, firstly a special case and secondly an exception. Because in Germany there has been an anti-doping law for five years that threatens to punish top athletes who do doping. But in the opinion of many experts and criminal investigators it has a serious shortcoming: There is no sport-specific leniency rule that motivates dopers to break out of the isolated sports scene and reveal the background.

Only three public prosecutors have a doping focus

That should change soon. On Wednesday, three federal ministries – Justice, Interior and Health – presented an evaluation report of the Anti-Doping Act, which is based on the opinion of two experts. One of their central findings is how necessary a leniency rule is – and this is what the federal government wants to implement. “Experience so far shows that we have to go further: We want to create a specific leniency program to protect insiders who disclose doping with their knowledge,” said Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD). Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) recommended that the idea be implemented “as soon as possible during this legislative period”.

How promising the proposed leniency rule can be will also depend on its specific form. As a second consequence of the evaluation of the law, there will be more public prosecutor’s offices for doping in the future. Currently there are only three: Munich, Freiburg and Zweibrücken.

It is also interesting that the ministries do not follow other recommendations of the experts – Elisa Hoven (University of Leipzig) and Michael Kubiciel (University of Augsburg). The work of the experts is based on the study of all procedural files related to doping from previous years and 18 expert interviews. In doing so, they worked out that as a result of the current legal situation, the public prosecutor’s offices are very much concerned with doping possession among athletes far from high-performance sport. “Too many resources are currently being used in recreational sports and the bodybuilding sector. We think it makes sense to focus the anti-doping law more on criminal cases of doping in competitive sport,” says Kubiciel of the SZ.

Another point concerns the group of perpetrators: So far, a violation of the self-doping ban only threatens to punish those athletes who belong to the test pool of the National Anti-Doping Agency (Nada) or who generate income of “considerable amount” from sport. That’s about 8,000 athletes right now. The experts complain about this situation. For example, at German individual championships in sports such as judo, situations arise in which, in a competition, an athlete who falls under the anti-doping law meets an athlete who is not affected by the anti-doping law. The experts therefore advocate expanding the group of perpetrators. “If you want to protect the integrity of the competition, the restriction to the test pool makes no sense,” says criminal law expert Kubiciel – and the restriction to not inconsiderable revenues in turn entails a high level of effort for the investigators.

This problem, it is now said by the ministries involved, would also be seen there. But the solutions proposed by the experts are not suitable. Therefore this question would now be examined.


Nordic skiing – cross-country skiing without Norwegians – sport

The Norwegian cross-country skiers will not take part in the World Cups in Davos and Dresden in December and the Tour de Ski in January due to the risk of infection with the corona virus. “After detailed internal discussions, we believe that it is the right thing for cross-country skiers,” said the chairman of the cross-country committee Torbjörn Skogstad. The Norwegians want to concentrate on the Nordic World Ski Championships in Oberstdorf (February 23 to March 7) and avoid infections.

© SZ vom 02.12.2020 / sid


Jamal Musiala at Bayern: Slalom also in Madrid – Sport

You can well imagine how three amateur soccer players from the Rhineland would sit in front of the television with satisfaction if they watched soccer on Tuesday evening. Marvin Störmann, David Pütz and Jannis Becker are the names of the players in the fifth division club 1. FC Düren, who had previously played ungrateful roles to prove Jamal Musiala’s talent. It was in mid-October when the three were beaten one after the other by the 17-year-old Musiala in Düren’s 0: 3 against FC Bayern in the first round of the DFB Cup.

Well, on Tuesday, Störmann, Pütz and Becker could see: A footballer like Atlético Madrid’s defender Mario Hermoso, who is a five-time Spanish national player, does not necessarily look better against Musiala.

Bayern’s 1-1 draw at Atlético Madrid was not necessarily a game that was about the result, after all, the Munich team was already the group winners and the first sixteen in the Champions League. So it was a game in which it was about “some knowledge”, as coach Hansi Flick, who had changed and experimented a lot, explained in the press conference. And even if he didn’t want to spread all of these findings publicly – he couldn’t avoid disclosing one thing: Yes, Musiala had played a good game.

Flick had changed nine times compared to the 3-1 win against Stuttgart at the weekend. Manuel Neuer, Robert Lewandowski and Leon Goretzka stayed in Munich to protect themselves from the top game in the Bundesliga against Leipzig on Saturday. Thomas Müller and Serge Gnabry also sat on the bench initially. Musiala played in the Müller position from the start. Bright Arrey-Mbi, a second 17-year-old, played for the first time ever, as a left full-back in a system with three central defenders and David Alaba as captain in the middle, which should remain a rarity.

One of the findings was that it took against deeply defending Spaniards Müller and Gnabry to compensate for Joao Felix’s opening goal from the 26th minute. They came after an hour, and finally Müller got a penalty, which he converted himself in the 86th minute. Arrey-Mbi, actually a central defender, didn’t look too happy when he conceded a goal after a throw-in that fell over his side. And Musiala was no longer on the pitch in the closing stages when the equalizer succeeded. But until he was substituted after 76 minutes, he was the most conspicuous from Munich.

Musiala winds around the opponent

For example, he was more noticeable than winger Leroy Sané, who was given the chance from the start for the first time in around a month. The national player, whom Flick had recently urged to pay more attention to the defensive, ended up in the left full-back position in between, due to the many changes in the second half, without attracting negative attention. But this time he did not have a dangerous goal finish.

Musiala, who can also play on the grand piano, but is best in the offensive center, gained space with his dribbling, played a few small passes that suggested a fine feel for the space around him, followed up if necessary. And after 30 minutes he dribbled towards goal that it reminded of his solo against Düren in October. At that time he ran around three opponents in the slalom in a very small space in the opposing sixteen and shot at the outside netting. This time he shot a little further past from a little further distance, but he played defender Hermoso beforehand with a similarly smooth, fast movement. The Spaniard shook his head in horror as he trotted back.

Physically, Musiala still has some catching up to do, says Flick

Musiala, just like the German U17 national player Arrey-Mbi, came to Munich from the youth team at Chelsea in the summer of 2019. Musiala was born in Stuttgart, but after two appearances for the German U16 he is now an English junior international, most recently he made his debut for the English U21. He recommended himself with a number of conspicuous offensive actions and already two goals, against Schalke and Frankfurt, after five substitutions in the Bundesliga. In the cup against Düren he made his debut in the starting line-up, most recently against Bremen he played for the first time in the league from the start.

On Tuesday, Flick said almost word for word what he always says when asked about Musiala: that you have to be careful about praising him, that he still has some catching up to do physically in duels with adults. In fact, Musiala looks a little more youthful and slim compared to other similarly young talents in the Bundesliga, for example his English friend Jude Bellingham from Borussia Dortmund. But, Flick always emphasizes: Musiala’s huge football skills, the fine technique, are unmistakable. And the caution in praise becomes more difficult.


Sailing – “I’m sinking. It’s not a joke” – sport

Distress in the Southern Ocean: Skipper Kevin Escoffier’s yacht has been badly hit by high waves

(Foto: Alexis Courcoux/PanoramiC/Imago)

Kevin Escoffier spent almost twelve hours on a small life raft in the ten-degree cold sea. Thrown back and forth by the waves, he waited for rescue – with a light and the hope of a promise.

By Monday afternoon, the 41-year-old French sailor cut through the choppy sea with his well-equipped yacht, he was third in the race around the world, the Vendée Globe. But at 2:46 p.m. he made an emergency call 840 nautical miles southwest of the Cape of Good Hope. The region between the fortieth and fiftieth parallel is feared for its raging winds: The “Roaring Forties” roar over the water, unchecked by a land mass, and pile up the waves. One of these waves seems to have become Escoffier’s undoing.

His yacht was submerged in a wave, he later reported via video. “It folded the ship,” he stammered: “I’ve seen a lot, but that …” Escoffier was just able to send a message: “I need help. I’m sinking. This is no joke.” The next wave paralyzed the electronics on board.

The castaway: Kevin Escoffier.

(Photo: Loic Venance / AFP)

The emergency call reached Jean Le Cam. In the vast expanse of the Southern Ocean, it was closest to the scene of the accident, and Escoffier could not have wished for a better savior than the “King”, as they call 61-year-old Le Cam in France: a man with vice hands and teddy bears on board, the in moments of danger reacts cooler than the Arctic Ocean. Someone who had to fear for his life for hours at the Vendée Globe regatta.

In fact, Le Cam reached his boat around 5 p.m. Yes we Cam the last known position of Escoffier. But waves five meters high and strong wind made the recovery impossible at first. The seafarers were able to talk to each other for a short time, but then Le Cam had to turn off: “I told him I was coming back,” Le Cam said later, also via video. But in the rough seas he lost sight of Escoffier again. And it got even more complicated: In the falling darkness, rescue seemed almost hopeless.

Boris Herrmann also rushed to help, the Hamburg sailor met with Seaexplorer at 11 p.m. Together with the French skippers Yannick Bestaven and Sébastien Simon, they supported Le Cam in the search. “It was like a needle in a haystack,” reported Boris Herrmann.

When Le Cam was preparing to wait for dawn, he discovered a light that was reflected by the waves. It was Kevin Escoffier. “Desperation turns into an unreal moment,” Le Cam reported later. He described the rescue briefly: “I threw him a life preserver. He caught it. That was it.” At 2:06 a.m. Escoffier climbed on board unharmed. “Like a miracle,” said race director Jacques Caraës.

LE CAM Jean (fra), Corum l epargne, portrait during the start of 14th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre duo sailing r;  Jean Le Cam

The Savior: Jean Le Cam.

(Foto: Olivier Blanchet / PanoramiC / Imago)

Escoffier and Le Cam commented on the course of the accident in front of the video camera on the high seas: his boat PRB I bored into a wave and broke through in the middle, the Frenchman said, still agitated, sometimes he seemed close to tears, then again he broke into wild laughter. “I’m sorry for Jean,” said Escoffier and apologized to his rescuer: “He had an incredible race. I screwed it up for him.” Le Cam reassured him: “Never mind. Zen, Zen.”

The Vendée Globe is considered the toughest solo regatta in the world. They have already paid with their lives to two seafarers. But besides the tragedies there are also stories of camaraderie and friendship; and in this episode of Monday night it seems to come full circle. Because once before, the PRB and Le Cam were the focus of a sea rescue – but with reversed roles.

In 2009, the then skipper of the PRB, Vincent Riou, turned the ship around in front of the dreaded passage from Cape Horn to come to the aid of his pursuer: Jean Le Cam. The “King” capsized, but was able to save himself in an air bubble under his ship. 16 hours later, his competitor pulled him out of the water. The PRB was also damaged during the rescue operation. The two saved themselves in the Beagle Channel, where the Chilean Navy towed them away.

Vincent Riou was then placed third in the ranking on an honorary basis. The two sailors share a deep friendship to this day. Now Le Cam was able to give something back and show its appreciation to the PRB skipper. Even if the boat is no longer the same, of course. Today’s PRB has long been a state-of-the-art foiler, while Le Cam is sailing in his boat without hydrofoils.

How it will go on with Escoffier is open. Le Cam shouldn’t have enough food on board for both of them. The boats involved in the rescue operation are allowed to continue their races – probably with a time bonus. And with the knowledge that there is something bigger than winning a high seas regatta.


German national team – the combative Herr Löw – sport

The so-called small group of top DFB officials experienced the national coach on Monday in the association headquarters differently than he was last portrayed in the press, radio and television: neither perplexed nor resigned and certainly not tired of office. Participants described his demeanor as focused and motivated, and even as “combative”. However, this attitude, which the audience would like to see in him more often, was not only directed towards his team and the sporting goals. But also against President Fritz Keller, from whom Löw apparently wanted more support.

Keller had assured the coach of his support the day after the national team’s 6-0 defeat in Spain, but in the days that followed Löw missed the evidence of the promised support. Keller was silent in public with considerable persistence. That is why it should now have gotten to the point in a conversation with the presidential committee of the DFB. Tenor of Löw’s complaint: This result – his confirmation in office – could have been had earlier. Too much time has passed since the serious incident in Seville, to the detriment of those involved, but above all to his own disadvantage. Keller is said to have expressed his displeasure with the protest note, especially since Vice President Rainer Koch supported the national coach.

It is possible that Löw benefited from the omnipresent tensions resulting from the difficult relationship between the side entrant, Keller, and the long-serving functionaries of the association. A club with such a divided leadership as the DFB does not have the determination and quorum to dismiss the expensive master coach two years before his contract expires in favor of an incalculable substitute solution. But you can also see it the way Löw complained: that it did not require any fundamental discussion or confrontation to make the decision as it has now been made. For the realization formulated by the DFB that a single game, even if it ends 0: 6, should not be “the yardstick for the basic performance of the national coach and the national team”, there is no need to think twice.

The DFB officials do not interpret the 0: 6 as a key experience

On the other hand, the distance to the action saved those responsible from succumbing to the mood of scandal. They could cool off emotionally. Last but not least, the decision for Löw now shows that the DFB superiors do not interpret the special case of the debacle as a key experience, but want to trace it back to the banal sporting core and its circumstances. The German national team in their currently unfinished composition is not able to defeat opponents such as Spain and France eight times in ten games, it was said from the group understandingly. In crazy times like these, crazy results are possible.

And if everyone complains that Löw is getting away from public life (on Monday he also chose a secret side exit when he left the headquarters), then for reasons of justice, at least two points should be observed. First: “It’s always been like that.” Second, what should he do? The reasons for his absence are obvious. There had been no international matches for ten months due to the Corona break, then the era of ghost games began in the Bundesliga.

Some observers had suspected that the national coach and his employer could agree on a formula in the much-discussed Hummels-Müller-Boateng question that promises the three banished world champions a return. Parts of the audience and the leading TV experts might have liked that, it could have brought a few PR plus points. But this topic was not discussed on Monday. Positioning remains a matter for coaches, this principle has not been shaken, especially since at least some participants consider the debate to be dishonest: The decision to remove Mats Hummels, Jérôme Boateng and Thomas Müller from the national team was made by Löw in early 2019, the defeat in Seville existed in November 2020 – “and that should then be the nation’s fate?”

Between the supposed fateful evening in Seville and the meeting in Frankfurt, Jogi Löw did what he always did. He conferred with his coaching colleagues Marcus Sorg and Andreas Köpke, spoke to Oliver Bierhoff and of course also sought the advice of his Swiss mentor Urs Siegenthaler. He obeyed his own little world. How long he will continue this practice in the service of the DFB remains an open process. Some commentators wanted to have read from the communiqué that Monday’s promise was also a promise to fulfill the contract and thus for continued employment until the World Cup tournament in Qatar at the end of 2022. But that’s not what it means. The long-term perspective is “checked anew at every tournament”, is the trend report from the small group.


Charlie Dalin, the Vendée Globe sailor-pilot-architect

The star of the Vendée Globe, it is not yet him, first in the class, but Jean Le Cam, dean of the race and lifeguard, on the night of Monday November 30 to Tuesday 1is December, of the castaway Kevin Escoffier.

→ READ. Kevin Escoffier rescued by Jean Le Cam, the castaway rescuer

A handsome player and above all a little reassured to have crossed the Cape of Good Hope without incident despite the dire weather, the Vendée Globe leader willingly bows out to King John. “Kudos to him and the others who got confused to pick up Kevin, it’s a huge relief. For my part, I now sail in the Indian Ocean, which has welcomed me ”, Charlie Dalin said a few hours after the announcement of Kevin Escoffier’s rescue.

After Cape Town, we can say that we have “done” the Vendée

Superstition of sailor, he had refused to comment, with a few hours in advance, the crossing of the Cape, during an interview with The cross organized in anticipation of this symbolic moment. It took him well, because he hung up just before the news of his colleague’s sinking. Charlie Dalin found himself deprived of a legitimate celebration. Because all the great sailors say, once you have crossed the Cape of Good Hope, you can claim to have “done” the Vendée Globe. Sailors who have stopped before, by choice or damage, cannot claim this virtual decoration, which Le Havre now displays in its buttonhole.

This distinction will allow him to reject the label of pilot of the seas that some old wolves of the oceans have stuck to him. The same people who treated with arrogance a few years ago François Gabart or Armel Le Cléac’h of engineers of the seas. “I do not even understand what we are talking about here, right now believe that it is my seaworthiness which is in action”, He explains from the cockpit of his monohull, tossed about by breaking waves in a 40 knot (75 km / h) wind. He leads him to the economy, hoping to escape the misadventures of his main competitors for the final victory, Jérémie Beyou, Thomas Rettant and Alex Thomson. And of course Kevin Escoffier, who was racing to snatch second place from Thomas Rettant at the time of his accident.

“I navigate in the sixth sense, listening to my boat”

At the beginning of the Indian Ocean, while the ice looms on the horizon, no more piloting. His talent as a coxswain-sailor-maker of the Formula 1 seas that contemporary monohulls have become is no longer of much use. “I navigate in the sixth sense, listening to my boat”, indicates the one who has chosen not to embark on distractions, in order to stay focused on his race.

→ READ. Vendée Globe foilers are already distancing themselves

No books on board, a USB stick lost somewhere with series or films, a soundtrack reduced to a minimum on his mobile phone. That’s all. “My only distraction is sleep, which is essential for recovery, and the dreams that I remember when I wake up and which have sometimes taken me on a trip very far from the Vendée Globe”, he recounts.

“When I start a race, it’s to win it”

Entirely focused on performance, this Havre graduate in naval architecture is, at the age of 36, the best student of recent years at the offshore racing training center of Port-la-Forêt (Finistère), which launched on the waves an armada of sailing celebrities. Armel Le Cléac’h, François Gabart or Jérémie Beyou all sat on the benches of this school of excellence directed by Christian Le Pape, father-in-law of… Charlie Dalin.

“Do not think that he gave me secrets about my competitors to give me an advantage, it is not in his values, but it is true that he taught me a lot, particularly in the way to set up a project ”, explains the skipper, without missing an opportunity to quote the name of his boat and the sponsor, the mutual Apivia, a newcomer to the world of ocean racing (1).

The job that comes in… Allied to the gnaque: “ I want to bring Apivia back to safe harbor in good condition, this is the priority, he said. But I remain a competitor, and when I start a race, it’s to win it. I want to come full circle first, and more if affinities. But with the “plums” that I’m going to take (a series of depressions is announced all week, Editor’s note), the road is still very long. “


Kevin Escoffier, the Vendée Globe castaway will have to wait

According to Vendée Globe race director Jacques Caraës, who spoke on Tuesday 1is December, Kevin Escoffier could stay on board the boat of his rescuer Jean Le Cam for several days. No doubt until December 7, when it could be recovered by a French Navy boat, The Nivose. This hypothesis poses many technical and regulatory problems. Even if one can imagine a code of good conduct on the part of a Kevin Escoffier not participating in any maneuver and not giving any advice, Jean Le Cam is no longer alone on board. Likewise, it runs the risk of running out of food reserves in the long term. The race committee will have to address all these questions in the coming days.


Inter-hope in Gladbach is called Lukaku – Sport

If one of the small numbers makes it to “Gigante buono”, the good-natured giant, a lot has gone well. When the Belgian Romelu Lukaku, 1.91 meters tall and 93 kilograms, switched to Inter Milan a year and a half ago, the Italian club with the greatest urge to self-pity, the transfer fee in particular was the subject of discussion: 67.2 million euros. Inter had never spent so much on signing a player. And because the newcomer was not without controversy at his former employer Manchester United, because some people there had doubted his suitability for the big stage, straight ahead and against the power of statistical arguments, the astonishment was doubly great. But Lukaku has made it: “Gigante buono” – that’s how the great Giacinto Facchetti, glory of the club, elegant and loved, was once called. You can’t get more appreciation.

Although Inter is on the verge of elimination in the fifth group game against Borussia Mönchengladbach on Tuesday evening, with only two points so far, it would still not occur to anyone to look to Lukaku of all places. On the contrary: If, contrary to all forecasts, something should still go for the Italians, for a last glimmer of hope, then everything will again be due to his big, powerful appearance.

Lukaku is one of those players who with their sheer presence can control a full third of the pitch. His comrades play him with long passes, that doesn’t have to be very precise, and they then trust that the “pivot” in the storm, this fulcrum in the distance, will get the ball out of the air with the Head or chest, and quickly pushes it to the ground, covers, cherishes and rowing with the arms so that no opponent gets to the leather – until the other players move up.

Lukaku versus Ibrahimovic: The former colleagues are now fighting a Milan city duel

This is Lukaku’s contribution to the game, besides scoring goals. Basically, it’s his only role, the role of a classic nine. Everything is more complicated in the lowlands of competing legs.

Lukaku from Molenbeek near Brussels, the son of a footballer, has spent most of his career in England, where they invented this quick shift to the pivot as a fix for poor play structure: three years at Chelsea, which in between loaned him to West Bromwich Albion; four years at Everton; two years at Man United.

In Manchester he also met the man who, by a coincidence in his life, is now contesting his position as half king of the city in Milan, at the age of 39 and the bite of an insatiable twenty year old: Zlatan Ibrahimovic from AC Milan is currently leading the series’ top scorer A at.

“Ibra” once said to his colleague Lukaku when he came to Manchester: “I’ll give you 50 pounds for every ball you can stop.” It is not known how seriously he meant it, with Ibrahimovic it’s always a mixture of daring megalomania and subtly hinted at fun act. In any case, Lukaku had the reputation at the time that he tripped far too many balls for him to be counted among the really big ones. Although his goalscoring rate has always been quite considerable: in the Belgian national team, for example, with 57 goals in 89 games, he is now the best goalscorer in history, at the age of 27. Nevertheless, the doubts about his technical abilities, about the feeling in the foot, always clouded the overall assessment of the player.

That has now changed in Milan, quite fundamentally, and his technique has also improved. Inter coach Antonio Conte swears by Lukaku, the Belgian is a perfect match for his elementary, controlled football. Conte doesn’t like fantastic teammates who suddenly turn on the light in a game with a trick, with a trick or a little bit out of nowhere, like the playmaker Christian Eriksen could do, for example: The Dane they brought from Tottenham Hotspur, mostly leaves Conte in the bank, even though the club pays a lot of money for him. Conte prefer players who follow his tactical instructions, just as soldiers follow orders from a general. “Big Rom” is one of them, too, with the grade of a high officer.

Inter are “Lukaku-dipendente”, they say in Italy, so fate often depends solely on the attacker’s performance and goals. In a duo with the Argentinian Lautaro Martinez, who on good days whirls around Lukaku like a dervish and provides him with a thousand passports, they form the so-called “Lu-La-Land” storm – a creative, meaningful but quite enigmatic reference to the media the film “La La Land”. It works well in the championship: Inter are second, but five points behind Milan.

Lukaku managed a small personal revenge on Ibrahimovic last February: Shortly before the outbreak of the pandemic, Inter won what is probably the most exciting Milan derby in recent years after a long deficit with a furious 4-2 final. “The city has a new king,” Lukaku then posted on social media. It was an “Ibra” -style post, a bit chubby, and it didn’t want to fit in with the gentle, humble nature of the Belgian.

Lukaku is popular in Italy, he speaks Italian astonishingly well, he already speaks eight languages. And he loves his mother so much and so obviously that it warms every Italian’s heart. Lukaku recently said in a moving interview that she stands for everything he has become. When the family sometimes lacked money, there was always enough food for the children because the parents did without it. He never forget that. Those who have suffered hunger fear nothing more than hunger: no pressure, no criticism.

When the “Gigante buono” scores a goal, he forms an A with his hands. It stands for Adolphine, the Mamma.


Summer fairy tale: Fifa declares living key witnesses dead – sport

Franz Beckenbauer’s enigmatic millions once flowed to the functionary Mohamed bin Hammam. He could resolve the German World Cup cause – but instead of asking the Qatar, the Fifa ethicists declared him dead.


Johannes Aumüller and Thomas Kistner

Most of it remains unresolved in the eternal “summer fairy tale” affair surrounding the 2006 World Cup. What is certain, however, is that the Qatari official Mohamed bin Hammam plays a key role – as the recipient of the payment that started the scandal. Ten million Swiss francs, this sum was loaned by the former Adidas boss Robert Louis-Dreyfus to the German World Cup organizer Franz Beckenbauer; he transferred the money to Qatar. Purpose and consideration? Nobody knows better than bin Hammam. Yes, he even laughed into a ZDF camera in 2018, he had received the money. But things went very differently than everyone thought. How?


Podcast on the death of Diego Maradona – Sports

After the death of Diego Maradona, the football world mourns one of its greatest. Argentina is sinking in tears, the sanctuary of many forever enthusiastic fans is now spinning its pirouettes in heaven. But what remains of this exceptional talent? The best way to tell his life is through anecdotes – and that’s what we want to do in this issue of the SZ Sports Podcast. Peter Burghardt, formerly the SZ correspondent in Buenos Aires, has witnessed the Argentinians’ euphoria for years and even once almost personally had a meeting with the “hand of God” in Cuba. How it came about and why it went wrong, he tells in this episode.

At his side this time is Thomas Hummel, whose memory is mainly based on a game by SSC Napoli in Munich in 1989. Anyone who thinks they have read everything about Maradona is right with “And now for sport”, because moderator Jonas Beckenkamp has a few details this week that have never been heard before.

In the wide world of sport, you sometimes need a deeper insight – which offers “And now to the sport”, the podcast of the Süddeutsche Zeitung. SZ sports editors offer assessments that go beyond the pure result report.

You can find the Sports Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Deezer, Audio Now, and all other popular podcast apps.

In this text we explain how you can listen to our podcasts. You can find all of our podcasts at: You can reach the editors of this podcast via


Initiative for fan boycott of the World Cup: The dam breach

The 2022 World Cup was awarded to Qatar ten years ago. It was a shock. And Fifa is cuddling more and more intensely with the emirate.

The final of the 2022 World Cup host will be played here: the Khalifa International Stadium in Qatar Photo: Sven Hoppe / dpa

BERLIN taz | It was a Thursday afternoon in early December. The Executive Committee of the International Football Association met in Zurich. It was about the awarding of the world championships for the years 2018 and 2022. First, Russia was awarded the contract for 2018. Then, at 4.43 pm, Joseph “Sepp” Blatter, then President of Fifa, opened the envelope in which you can put after the vote the FIFA superiors had the name of the host country for the 2022 World Cup tournament: Qatar.

In the fourth ballot, the emirate prevailed with 14: 8 votes against competitor USA. It was a shock from which many football fans have not recovered to this day. Qatar! Fifa has long been synonymous with corruption. And yet the decision was read as a breach of the dam. December 2nd marks the tenth anniversary of the decision with which professional men’s football has finally moved away from its fans.

Bernd Beyer recalls the day of the decision that he was “stunned”. But the soccer journalist couldn’t really believe what had been decided. “I was hoping it wouldn’t last,” he says. He was certainly not alone in that at the time. Today he knows that nothing can stop the World Cup. It will take place. The opening game will take place on November 21, 2022.

Nevertheless, Beyer started an initiative together with his colleague and physical exercise author Dietrich Schulze-Marmeling called “Boycott Qatar”. It is aimed at fans of football. You are called to pay as little attention as possible to the tournament. By boycotting products from the big FIFA sponsors, they are supposed to help ensure that the commitment of companies like Adidas, Sony or McDonald’s does not improve the corporate image.

The initiative of the two authors has not yet grown into a movement. But Beyer expects increasing protests against the Fifa event for the two years leading up to the tournament. There is already a lot of feedback from the clubs’ active fan scenes. The Schalke Fan Initiative is already one of the supporters of Boycott Qatar. Beyer is sure of more to come. In any case, he doesn’t know any football fan who is looking forward to Qatar.

No beer together

He also cannot imagine that in Qatar in 2022, what worked so well in Russia in the summer of 2018 in the interests of FIFA. The pictures from Russia of fans from all over the world celebrating together went around the world and turned the negative image of the World Cup host that was drawn before the tournament into positive. There will be no such images in Qatar. Even drinking beer together will probably not work in the Wahhabi emirate.

According to Beyer, a lot has been learned about Qatar in the past eight years. None of this is suitable to describe the country as a suitable host for the fan sport football. When the decision for Qatar was made ten years ago, it was initially about geography. The German public quickly learned that the small state on the Persian Gulf is only half the size of Hesse. The tournament was planned for the summer.

In the application it was stated that air-conditioned stadiums would make it possible to host the World Cup even at temperatures well over 40 degrees, as is usual in the Gulf in summer. But the promise was nothing more than an assertion. The fans learned that too over the years. In February 2015, Fifa decided to move the tournament to the winter months.

It had long been known which regime one was dealing with in Qatar. Fifa also knew what it was doing. Sepp Blatter joked after the World Cup was awarded and said about the religiously based legislation in Qatar, which criminalizes homosexual acts, when asked about homosexual World Cup tourists: “I think they should refrain from any sexual activity at the World Cup.” He had to do that sorry though. However, he could not deny that by opting for Qatar, FIFA also indirectly decided to exclude gay and lesbian fans from the tournament.

The soccer slave

Another Qatari phenomenon quickly became known. The word “Kafala” made the rounds. It describes a system of dependence of employees on their employers. Above all, workers from abroad were so downright enslaved in Qatar. Construction workers and domestic workers lost their freedom because they had to give their employers their passports. They were just as powerless against the lack of wages as they were against the exploitative behavior of their superiors.

Soon after the vote for Qatar, it became known that this has something to do with football. The French professional footballer Zahir Belounis, who played for the Qatari military club al-Jaish, has been in a dispute with his club over arrears since 2009 after he was moved to another club against his will.

In the end he just wanted to leave. But he could not leave because it would have required the approval of his employer. Belounis went on a hunger strike, wrote open letters to Fifa and World Cup ambassador Pep Guardiola. He was only allowed to leave the country in 2013. Shortly before, Franz Beckenbauer, who sat in the FIFA executive when the 2022 World Cup was awarded, said he had never seen a slave in Qatar.

He probably did not find out about the working conditions of migrant workers in Qatar. The fact that the regime was even soccer slaves did not upset him any more than the Fifa superiors, who wanted to get the Qataris to make a few promises to improve working conditions in the country. But not much has changed. When the human rights organization Human Rights Watch found in the summer of 2020 that wages were still being paid regularly, and that employees were even starving because they weren’t paid, Qatar again made a promise to improve the situation. Labor legislation has changed, minimum wages have been defined, and penalties for refusing to pay wages have been introduced.

The Gulf state has become Fifa’s favorite country under Fifa President Infantino

All of this shows the emirate’s authoritarian character. For the boycott activist Bernd Beyer, the vote in favor of Qatar therefore fits in seamlessly with a series of other decisions on the award of major events. “It is another example of the fact that sports organizations like to work with states that simply enforce the requirements that are always associated with major events in an authoritarian manner.” And FIFA is particularly happy to work with Qatar.

The Club World Cup, which has just been postponed to February, is taking place in the Gulf state. And this week Fifa served the emirate a new delicacy. The Fifa Arab Cup with teams from 22 Arab states from Palestine to Egypt and Saudi Arabia to Mauritania will be played in Qatar in December 2021.

Snuggle with corruptioners

The Gulf state, of all places, from which corruption in world football was taken into a new dimension, has become the favorite country of Fifa under Gianni Infantino, the successor to Sepp Blatter at the head of the association. The fact that the long-time head of the Qatari football association, Mohamed bin Hammam, the big puller behind Qatar’s bid for the World Cup, was banned for life by Fifa because of corruption is no longer of interest.

That the now legendary 6.7 million euros, which the DFB transferred to a bank account in Zurich at the time of the race to award the World Cup for 2006 via an account from Franz Beckenbauer, ultimately ended up in an account from bin Hammam in Qatar has not bothered anyone in world football for a long time anyway. At the end of the purification after the Blatter era proclaimed by Fifa itself, the greatest beneficiary of the change is Qatar of all places.

Nobody wants to understand that, says Bernd Beyer, whose boycott concerns fit well with the fan initiatives in Germany, which advocate a rethink in the football business and want to prevent professional football from moving further away from the grassroots and its fans. Against this background, the statements that the well-paid World Cup ambassadors of Qatar repeatedly make for advertising purposes seem unworldly and aloof.

The latest example of this is former Cameroonian star striker Samuel Eto’o. “Qatar 2022 will be a very special experience for football fans,” he said on the website of the 2022 World Cup. What does he mean by that? “Sometimes I just go to the Villaggio Mall, then I enjoy a visit to the Katara Cultural Village, where there are many shops and restaurants.” There is no better way to express that you see the football fan primarily as a customer.