When Schalke 04 meets Bayern Munich this Tuesday evening, the question of who wins will not be in the foreground. Rather, it is more exciting whether the quarter-finals in the DFB Cup will be played to the end. Jochen Schneider is considering stopping the game as soon as an evil hopp banner is visible. With this, Schalke's board even wants to outbid the three-stage plan. In such cases, he first provides for an interruption and a stadium announcement, then the referee should send the teams into the cabin and finally the termination.
The Bundesliga is about to escalate. Dietmar Hopp, the Hoffenheim patron, meanwhile calls his adversaries "idiots" with whom he will not speak. His lawyer calls for house searches and says: "You have to grab a few and leave them in the cell for a day."
The Ultras react with defiance. Also at the second division game Hanover against Kiel on Monday they held up two banners that showed Hopp in the crosshairs. When they started chanting against him, the referee stopped the game. It seems like a question of time before the first game is canceled.
The DFB and the soccer establishment are in one ditch, the Ultras in the other. They do not understand each other and are irreconcilable. In their duel, it may also be decided what future football should look like. It would be all the more important that both sides talk to each other again and listen to each other.
1) The Ultras
The Ultras are both a mystery and a nuisance. They are often described on television and on the boulevard as dull rioters. But they are one of the largest youth and subcultures in the country. You have gained dominance in almost all corners. There they celebrate choreographies (from which the Bundesliga also benefits economically), where they also debate the political and cultural aspects of football.
The curves also negotiate topics that go beyond football: commercialization, digitization, gentrification. Will stadiums soon become shopping centers? Which sponsor presents injury time? The Ultras' opposition to the video evidence was fruitless, but their creative protests, for example, led the DFL to abolish the Bundesliga Monday games.
For outsiders this may be petitessen, but football has quasi-religious features. Whether Helene Fischer is allowed to sing during the half-time break or not is the controversy regarding the sacrament today. Perhaps the relevance of these debates will become clearer to some if one remembers that the Adidas boss thinks a cup final in Shanghai is conceivable.
And according to Karl-Heinz Rummenigge's public considerations of throwing the fan club Schickeria out after the incidents in Sinsheim, there is more concern than ever that football wants to replace traditional fans with event-oriented, solvent customers. In a letter to ntv in which he criticized the Hopp reporting, DFB President Fritz Keller is said to have indicated the abolition of standing room. Is football now taking the opportunity to wish a musical audience?