• Germany edition
 
Have your say
Should soccer be used as a political football?
Photo: DPA

Should soccer be used as a political football?

Published: 02 May 2012 14:41 GMT+02:00
Updated: 02 May 2012 14:41 GMT+02:00

German politicians are trying to pressure the Ukrainian government into improving its treatment of Tymoshenko, who is on hunger strike after claiming she was beaten up and taken to hospital against her will.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said on Wednesday that concerns over her treatment could lead to the country being blocked from a political and trade deal with the European Union.

Early this week Chancellor Angela Merkel said she might stop her cabinet members from attending next month's Euro 2012 matches, while the Austrian government said on Wednesday none of its members would be going.

There have even been calls to take the Euro 2012 championship out of Ukraine and hold it only in Poland or even in Germany instead.

Should football be disconnected from politics, or is such a tournament a good opportunity to try to influence the political situation in a host country?

Should German politicians go to matches to cheer on their team or should their seats be left empty to show their contempt for the government’s treatment of Tymoshenko? Have your say below.

Registered users of The Local may add their comments in the field below. If you haven’t signed up yet, you can do so here – it’s free and only takes a moment.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

02:07 May 3, 2012 by Ludwig von America
One can be sure that whatever a politician does is for a strategic reason and not from the heart. The truth is that nobody in the German government gives a damn about Tymoshenko or any other Ukrainian citizen. If Germany's leaders boycott the games, it will be be because they think they can influence the politics in Ukraine. They would really like to get Ukraine in their/EU/NATO sphere rather than seeing them get closer to Russia.

So, to the politicians in Germany...if you really feel in your heart that it would be morally wrong to attend a game while this woman is in prison, then just don't go and keep your mouth shut.
02:13 May 3, 2012 by thamiii
Football should not be used as a political stage. No one boycotted the 2008 Olympics and China has a much worse record of Human rights abuse than the Ukraine. Russia isnt exactly innocent of human rights abuses and they are hosting the Winter Olympics.

Football is the beautiful game and should be disconnected from politics. Football is for the people, NOT the politicians.

Politicians should express thier disagreement through political discourse and/or sanctions, not Football.
12:18 May 3, 2012 by dwsrgreenslade
I was one of a large number of New Zealanders that contributed to changes in South Africa by forcing the NZ authorities to abandon a South African Rugby tour that was underway.

To isolate governments and their sports people who dont follow accepted norms is in many cases the only way to demonstrate that ordinary people in the rest of the world do not accept repressive governments and perhaps force change
17:59 May 4, 2012 by theresahelle
Any means to get political prisoners out of prison, especially if they are not violent people, should be adopted, be it football or any other means. Somehow I could not enjoy the game otherwise.
13:16 May 7, 2012 by Prufrock2010
Since football is more than a religion to millions of people throughout the world, this is the perfect opportunity to call global attention to the Ukrainian human rights abuses by boycotting the tournament. If the Ukraine chooses to act as a pariah state it should be treated as such. To participate in this tournament is to give tacit approval of the Ukraine's reprehensible policies.
18:21 May 7, 2012 by smart2012
From what I have heard Frau Merkel said she may decide not to go to see the games in Ukraine. So what??

Either you boycott the full tournement, and in addition you stop any businesses with Ukraine (gas import/selling staff there) otherwise at my eyes it is just potical hypocrisy. Possible scenario: Merkel will not go to Ukraine but she will join any governement discussions on gas via phone conf??? ah ah
11:52 June 4, 2012 by Landmine
Isn't this story very old to still be fronline news? Isn't there any other news that can replace this old story? C'mon editors, one month on the front page???? Simply Reprehensible!
Today's headlines
Schweinsteiger is new Germany captain: Löw

Schweinsteiger is new Germany captain: Löw

Bastian Schweinsteiger will replace fellow Bayern Munich player Philipp Lahm as captain of the German national football team, head trainer Joachim Löw said on Tuesday. READ  

Munich minister resigns in 'model car scandal'
Christine Haderthauer at her resignation press conference in Munich on Monday. Photo: DPA

Munich minister resigns in 'model car scandal'

Christine Haderthauer, head of the Bavarian state chancery, resigned “with immediate effect” on Monday evening over the so-called “model car scandal” in which her company sold scale models built by a man convicted of three sexual murders. READ  

Russia 'severed' from Europe: President Gauck
President Gauck stands shoulder to shoulder with President Komorowski of Poland in Gdansk on Monday. Photo: DPA

Russia 'severed' from Europe: President Gauck

Russia has "effectively severed its partnership" with Europe and wants to establish a new order, German President Joachim Gauck said on Monday. READ  

National Uber ban is revenge of the taxis
Taxis are a powerful trade lobby in Germany. Photo: DPA

National Uber ban is revenge of the taxis

The Frankfurt regional court has imposed a temporary nationwide ban on chauffeur car service Uber, saying that it must pay a €250,000 fine if passengers continue to book rides through its app. READ  

Sex party 'desecrates' Bavarian royal spa
The facade of the Bad Reichenhall Royal Spa Hotel.

Sex party 'desecrates' Bavarian royal spa

The Bavarian finance ministry has demanded a report from the company running a publicly-owned spa in the town of Bad Reichenhall after they rented the property out for a fetish party. READ  

Merkel details Iraq arms shipment to MPs
Angela Merkel addressing the Bundestag on Monday as her ministers look on. Photo: DPA

Merkel details Iraq arms shipment to MPs

UPDATE: Chancellor Angela Merkel addressed the Bundestag on Monday to explain her government's decision to send weapons to Iraqi Kurds fighting terrorist group Isis. READ  

Town in shock as tax worker shot dead
DPA

Town in shock as tax worker shot dead

A tax office worker in the Schleswig-Holstein town of Rendsburg died in hospital after being shot on Monday morning. READ  

Olympic visions compete in Berlin and Hamburg
Berlin and Hamburg mayors Klaus Wowereit and Olaf Scholz on Monday. Photos: DPA

Olympic visions compete in Berlin and Hamburg

Germany's capital and its gateway to the North Sea each released details of their Olympic bids on Monday as the race for the 2024 or 2028 summer games nominations picks up momentum. READ  

Vacationer killed by Baltic Sea bacteria
Photo: DPA

Vacationer killed by Baltic Sea bacteria

Six people were infected with a bacteria from the Caribbean which has made itself at home in the popular German vacation destination. One of them is now in a coma. READ  

UN applauds Germany's help to refugees
DPA

UN applauds Germany's help to refugees

UNHCR Commissioner Antonio Guterres is lauding Germany's role in accommodating the influx of refugees in Europe, while pointing at the imbalance of effort within the EU. The federal government has pledged to do more. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten of the oddest things found by German border control
Photo: Gerkan, Marg and Partners/Tegel Projekt GmbH/J. Mayer
Berlin
How will Berlin look in five years' time?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The best of Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit in 14 pictures
Photo: DPA
Politics
Germany sends burgers and sausages to Kurds
Photo: Matthias Kock
National
Tribes, ties and a movie: A German's Afghan life
Photo: DPA
Gallery
10 things to do before summer in Germany is really over
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,408
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd