Dirk Zingler, President of 1. FC Union Berlin, has clearly criticized the German Football Association. "I think the DFB has lost its natural authority in recent years," said Zingler in an interview with the world . There were many issues that caused the association to lose integrity and respect.
Above all, frequent changes at the top of the association stand in contrast to the continuity in the management of successful Bundesliga clubs. Above all, the management of the national team is incredible. The DFB tried "to create a brand with a lot of marketing and to draw a picture that has nothing to do with the reality in the stadiums," said the Union President. The number of spectators and the atmosphere at international matches suffered.
"DFB can learn from club football"
"My main criticism is that the DFB has lost contact and understanding for the majority of football fans, especially stadium visitors." Zingler praised above all the lively fan culture and the way the clubs dealt with one another - but neither of these was due to the DFB. There is no "German football", but "club football" that works well.
According to Zingler, the DFB cannot solve problems in the internal constitution of football - for example when dealing with the hooligan and ultra scene. Rather, it is "the clubs' very own task to organize a sensible cooperation with the fan scenes and the spectators. I think the DFB can learn from club football," said Zingler. In terms of communication, the DFB is behind the zeitgeist: "If he believes that he can deal with people and organizations as he did ten or 20 years ago, it won't work."
Zingler also commented on the events in his club's game against VfL Wolfsburg on the previous day. The game had to be interrupted twice due to abuse of the Berlin fan scene against 1899 Hoffenheim club president Dietmar Hopp. Defaming individuals is unacceptable, said Zingler. However, the incidents should not be used for a blanket condemnation of fan culture in German stadiums: Many initiatives against discrimination also had their origins in the fan scene.