There is now great disappointment in the Bundesliga, but on the other hand it is like this: The Bundesliga is best off the German sports landscape after the new, serious Corona resolutions. It is an atmospheric setback if no spectators are allowed in November instead of the last few hundred or thousand. But financially, that’s only of limited relevance, and gaming as such continues as before.
Much more drastic are the decisions at the levels below, and especially at the bottom: at the grassroots level, in amateur and recreational sports. At the German Football Association, for example, seven million people are organized in 25,000 clubs, while the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) has 27 million memberships in almost 90,000 clubs. They all have to stop their offers for four weeks; only individual sports like jogging are allowed. “Sport Germany”, as it is often called, has largely stood still, which will have considerable consequences.
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It is sometimes a bit pathetic when the DOSB praises the clubs as the country’s “social filling stations”. And there are certainly people who present the importance of sport for society more skilfully and can also anchor it politically better than the current DOSB President Alfons Hörmann. But this importance is immense: as a place of encounter and movement, especially for children and young people. The country already suffers from a lack of exercise, and state regulations are now tightening it: by closing the clubs.
As in many other areas of life, for example in gastronomy or in the cultural sector, there is also great irritation at the sports base about the decisions – and fear of the consequences. But the problems that threaten recreational sports can only be cushioned to a limited extent by any corona pot. As warned by the DOSB, there is a real risk that established structures will “suffer considerable damage or be completely lost”. That people withdraw from club life; that children and adolescents lose access to sport if, after the first prescribed sport break in spring, there is another one that nobody knows how long it really lasts.
Even in the smallest village clubs, concepts have recently been painstakingly drawn up to at least somehow make sport possible. This was done with a view to distance and hygiene rules, but also with the awareness that, according to all that we know, sport is not an infection driver and aerosols evaporate more quickly outdoors.
Yes, there are sports for which the time is not right and sports facilities where a meaningful concept cannot be implemented. But why shouldn’t it be possible to complete a tennis individual in an airy hall in view of the previously known scientific background while observing the hygiene rules? And why shouldn’t the ten-year-olds, who are together at school in the morning anyway, be allowed to play a little football on the pitch in the afternoon? And be it just, as was the case in early summer, in a restricted corona mode, in which only contactless running, passing and shooting at goal exercises are allowed?
Politicians like to bask in the glamor of professional sport. She clearly does not appreciate the value of amateur and recreational sport to society.