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“Increasingly racist slogans from the ranks”



"Increasingly racist slogans from the ranks"

Fan researcher Gunter A. Pilz sees an increase in racist insults in stadiums. “Unfortunately, we have to observe that racist, xenophobic slogans are increasingly coming from the ranks,” Pilz told the newspapers of the Funke media group: “Unfortunately, this has to do with the current political situation – because society is also complaining about an increase of racism, right-wing extremism, discrimination of any kind. Football is not an exception, but a reflection of the development of society as a whole.”

The 78-year-old attaches a special role to social media. Just last week, RB Leipzig national player Benjamin Henrichs was racially insulted on the Internet after winning the quarter-finals of the DFB Cup against Borussia Dortmund (2-0).

“The brutalization of language in social media also affects the behavior and quality of the insults in the stadium. I see a direct connection there,” said Pilz.

Rene Paasch, sports psychologist and professor at the German University for Health in Unna, also blames the overall social situation for aggressive outbreaks in stadiums: “People are dissatisfied, there is a crisis everywhere. The stadium offers an outlet to let out this dissatisfaction”.

The measured expectations of players is also a factor: “Fans often have the opinion that just because footballers earn a lot of money, they always have to deliver to the same extent. But these are still people and people can’t always function. But that the fan doesn’t see it.”