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Footballers 'should be forced to sing anthem'

The Local · 2 Jul 2012, 12:13

Published: 02 Jul 2012 12:13 GMT+02:00

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Politicians from Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU), and its Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union (CSU), called for Germany's national footballers to be obliged to sing the national anthem, in the hope of generating the extra patriotic fervour necessary to defeat the likes of Italy and Spain on the pitch.

"It should be part of the etiquette, that the players sing along," Hesse Interior Minister Volker Bouffier told the Bild newspaper on Monday. "After all, they're playing for the national team, not for themselves! It's embarrassing enough that we even have to discuss it - really, the players should think of it themselves!"

Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann sang from the same hymn book. "The national anthem belongs to international matches and the national team," he said. "Anyone who doesn't feel like it should stay at their clubs."

The politicians were backed up by at least one German footballing legend. Franz Beckenbauer, who captained Germany on their way to World Cup and European Championship success in the 1970's, introduced an obligation to sing the national anthem when he became coach of the national side in 1984.

"That's how we became World Champions in 1990," the Kaiser commented.

Coach Joachim Löw always sings the national anthem, but does not oblige the players to do so, and there has been some criticism of players, like Mesut Özil and Lukas Podolski, who choose not to sing along before the game.

But Federal Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich, also of the CSU, struck a note of discord. "One doesn't now need to look for all the possible reasons why the semi-final was lost," he told the Bayerische Rundfunk broadcaster.

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Your comments about this article

12:57 July 2, 2012 by mobaisch
I am an Ausländer and I totally approve/strongly agree with this Idea!
13:34 July 2, 2012 by OwnerM
I don't get why you wouldn't. You are wearing the uniform, you are living in the country, you represent, in a peaceful way, the people of that country, why wouldn't you?

There shouldn't even need to be a discussion of whether it should be forced or not. ízil and Podolski should be singing with their teammates.
13:45 July 2, 2012 by freechoice
if spain could beat the crap out of italy. it shows the standards of football in Germany. please don't blame it on some nationalistic song.
13:57 July 2, 2012 by frankiep
As un-PC as it may sound to some people, I completely agree with this. I think that Beckenbauer is being ridiculous when he says that having his players sing the anthem is the reason why they won, but it doesn't take away from the issue here. As a member of the national team you are representing your country. If ízil, Podolski, Khedira, and Boateng feel uncomfortable singing the national anthem of country which they are representing then maybe they would feel more comfortable playing for Turkey, Poland, Tunesia, and Ghana respectively.

Call me crazy, but I find it amazingly disrespectful for these guys simply refuse to even sing the anthem of a country which has given them so much and afforded them the opportunity to perform at the highest level.
14:08 July 2, 2012 by towns
@ frankiep

Couldn't agree more!! I've noticed the above players you mentioned NEVER sing the national anthem and all the German players (that is those who are not of recent immigrant origin) always sing the anthem. I've never seen ízil for example, open his mouth whenever the National anthem plays and isn't he already third-generation German?

Just an observation.
14:55 July 2, 2012 by Eagle1
I have concerns about "forcing" players to sing the anthem, but I think this is a fair analysis:

- If you're not singing, you're heart really isn't in it.

- If your heart is not in it, you're not maximizing (a) your own potential and (b) your support of your teammates, both emotionally and physically.

- If you're not maximizing (a) your own potential and (b) your support of your teammates, both emotionally and physically, you shouldn't be playing.
14:55 July 2, 2012 by Floriansamsel
Sometimes, singing is just not enough - so what?
15:42 July 2, 2012 by rfarooqi
Well do not pick just ízol and podolski but there are two other players with one of half Spanish origin and the other is a German one who probably doesn't know the text and couldn't be bothered with it, so just don't the ones out of ones, be fair. And yes it is a disgrace and downright impertenance that the country who made one rich, where you were born or hold a passport of is not good enough for you to sing a national anthem for.

I am an Ausländer but I have as much respect of Germany as I do have for my country of origin.
15:47 July 2, 2012 by gladwellmartin
If the lyrics are an affront to my religion should I sing it? It talks about German beer and German women. If for religious reasons I don't drink beer nor glorify man or woman why the heck will I sing it? That will be crazy to for me to sing it. To hell with that !!
15:50 July 2, 2012 by frankiep

you're absolutely right. I have never seen those four sing the anthem either. What's really interesting to me is that ízil, Khedira, and Boateng were all born and grew up in Germany, yet they still don't seem to want to identify themselves with the country they are representing, which to me is just unbelievably obnoxious. On the other hand there is Cacau who, when he was on the national team, had no problem singing the anthem and was proud to do so - even though he was born in Brazil.


you make a great point. No one should think that their refusal doesn't have an affect on team camaraderie (which is extremely important). Bastian Schweinsteiger voiced his concerns about this before and even stated that it has a detrimental affect on the team.
15:57 July 2, 2012 by MydogMax
gladwellmartin - if you can take the glory but cant show the respect to the country that's given you the honor and opportunity... religion aside you shouldn't be allowed to play or represent your nation for me its as simple as that and more so some one else should take your place. I am a Auslander and if you don't like it you should go back to your own country of origin.

In Australia where I come from its would be abhorrent to see a player not proud to sing the national anthem as that's why you play for your country in the first place.
16:02 July 2, 2012 by frankiep

Die Deutsche Nationalhymne:

Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit

(Unity and Justice and Freedom)

für das deutsche Vaterland

(for the German fatherland)

Danach lasst uns alle streben

(For this let us all strive)

Brüderlich mit Herz und Hand

(Brotherly with heart and hand)

Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit

(Unity and Justice and Freedom)

Sind des Glückes Unterpfand

(Are the pledges of good fortune)

Blüh im Glanze dieses Glückes

(Prosper in the radiance of this fortune)

Blühe, deutsches Vaterland

(Prosper, German fatherland)

It is a song about freedom, justice, and prosperity. There is nothing there about beer or glorifying men or women.

Try again.
16:15 July 2, 2012 by yourkeau
Germany is a free country, and cannot force its players to sing any song. If you don't like it, move to Northern Korea. There, you could be imprisoned if you don't sing the anthem.
16:33 July 2, 2012 by Leo Strauss

I agree with you that no one should be forced to sing the national anthem in a free country. However, I do think that the DFB could institute a policy whereby players who wish to play for the national team must agree to sing the anthem at national games. Players who do not wish to sing the anthem would be under no duress to do so, they simply wouldn`t be able to play for Germany.
16:44 July 2, 2012 by frankiep

You're absolutely right, Germany is a free country, which means that we are free to point out that their non-actions make them look like ungrateful brats who are perfectly OK with taking all the opportunities Germany has to offer them but cannot even be bothered to show the slightest bit of respect in return. No one is forcing them to play either, but they play for Germany because by doing so they receive the type of exposure which leads to a huge payday - just don't ask them to actually sing the national anthem when it is played because that would be like North Korea. What a joke to even make that comparison.
16:57 July 2, 2012 by Jennifera
Why in the world should you be forced to sing the national anthem? Doesn´t make any sense. I get the fact that some people take it as some kind of shiek that players aren´t really proud of their country, but I highly doubt this is the case. In my country (Sweden) we have players who never sing, and they´ve said that this is not of meaning. One hasn´t bothered learning the lyrics or they were simply too focused on the game to be played. The latter I think, is a usual reason not to sing. If I had something that important coming up I´d want to focus all my energy on what to do, not remembering the lyrics of a complicated national anthem. I personally don´t think that either of the players mentioned, ízil to mention one, is doing this to make a plolitical or cultural statement. From their official appearances they seem to be yes, proud of being from and playing for Germany. No question about it. Sure it would be nice if they sang, and if there are those motives for not singing they should maybe think twice about playing for the german national team to begin with - but forcing them to sing just because to you, it seems they "won´t give anything back to the country" or whatever, that´s just wrong. Maybe he just need that moment right before the game, to cool it mentally, to just listen and take in the heat of the moment to be able to give his all in the game to come? Just a thought.
17:02 July 2, 2012 by beyjee
these players dont sing the anthem because they want to retain their dual heritage. they still feel connected to their country of origin and lets face it they've experieced racism in Germany all their lives and yet they still elect to play for this country, a country where they are not fully accepted and have been second class citizens if not for their football skills. dont forget, Germany also benefits from their inclusion on the team as much as they benefit from Germany, its not a one way street so the country should at least respect their personal beliefs. they've already decided to play for Germany, they pour their hearts and souls for flag and country on the football field. not singing the anthem doesnt change the fact that they are playing for Germany and no one else. for them its not about disrespect, its about discretion, its about respecting their parents, their family and friends in their country of origin. its their personal belief and Germany of all nations should be sensitive to that.
17:17 July 2, 2012 by marimay
You're all nuts.

The only thing this will do is make spiteful ugly people feel better. It will not change the outcome of a game.

Certainly these politicians have more pressing concerns?
17:39 July 2, 2012 by franconia
@ beyjee , do you know how many millions hate the US and live in the US and still sing the anthem? You are really full of it !

@ gladwellmartin , you one of the German haters born in the 30s or 40s ? Where did you learn those lyrics?
17:43 July 2, 2012 by yourkeau
@Leo Strauss

You have a very funny interpretation of the term "free country".

"I agree with you that no one should be forced to sing the national anthem in a free country. However, I do think that the DFB could institute a policy"

In a free country, there is no "however", no "but" and no "policy". Free means a choice not to do anything what one expects you to do unless this violates a law or other peoples' freedom.

In Germany you don't sing songs before starting work unless your work is singing in a chorus. And even professional singers cannot be forced to sing anything they don't like to.

This is also funny that someone considers not singing a song as a lack of respect. I thought, only the good job done counts as respect.
17:44 July 2, 2012 by Leo Strauss

I agree that no one should be forced to sing the national anthem in a free society. However, when players have freely chosen to play for the German national team and to represent Germany at international tournaments, I believe that it would not be unreasonable to demand that they sing the national anthem out of respect for the land that has sent them there.


No one is demanding that these players renounce their dual heritage, but the fact is, they are playing for Germany and Germany alone. Unfortunately one can only play for one national football team and so one has to choose. You are right to point out that the question of national identity is complicated for these guys, and there is also the question of racism, as we saw with the disgusting ízil Twitter scandal during the EM, still I think that those who wear the German national colors have made a choice to play for a country and should therefore respect that country by singing it`s anthem.

Just sayin
17:56 July 2, 2012 by marimay
I think the fact that only a handful of people showed up at the airport to welcome their country's team home after a good tournament is the bigger problem here. Maybe these politicians should force german soccer fans to be more appreciative of their team even in defeat? maybe that would help them win more? Hmm...
18:20 July 2, 2012 by nashville
I, also, was a bit confused as to why the team wasn't singing. Other teams sang with eyes closed and hands over their hearts. Wondering if it's a "German past" kind of thing as to why it's not a big deal to sing and be proud of one's team. After the first game, I looked up the text and music, and the kids and I learned it so we could sing it along with the team. It was fun learning it, and now the kids know it too.

As an aside, where do people learn the national anthem here? At school? Church? Clubs? Or does one just take it upon himself to look it up as we did?
18:28 July 2, 2012 by Leo Strauss

Free means a choice not to do anything what one expects you to do unless this violates a law or other peoples' freedom.`

Yes, so where is the problem?

If there were a rule, which stated that players on the national team had to sing the national anthem, then individuals could either choose to play and sing or to not play and not sing. As frankiep has pointed out, your comparing the situation here with North Korea is inappropriate.

Individuals who play for the national team are not drafted into service by the state nor is playing for the national team a question of their existence- it is a luxury which they may freely choose to pursue or to reject. So where is the violation of their freedom?

`In a free country, there is no "however", no "but" and no "policy".`

Yes there is, if you wish to keep a job or belong to a club:

These players freely contract with the DFB in order to play for the German national team whereby they agree to follow a number of rules and regulations- not just my theoretical one. They do this freely and of their own volition. They may choose to leave the team at anytime. So I ask you again, where is the violation of their freedom?

My concept of a free country still sound `funny`? :)
18:34 July 2, 2012 by puisoh
Thanks frankeip for the lyrics of the anthem, I was puzzled when gladwellmartin said it is about beer and women, c'mon, get sober.
19:02 July 2, 2012 by William Thirteen
they lost. get over it.
19:32 July 2, 2012 by Englishted
When it talks about Fatherland isn't that sexist?

Parentland may be more fitting?
19:36 July 2, 2012 by yourkeau
"If there were a rule, which stated that players on the national team had to sing the national anthem"

There could also be a rule that players of the national team had to circumcise their penises. But there is not such rule.

>As frankiep has pointed out, your comparing the situation here with North Korea is inappropriate.

It is appropriate. In free society there are rules which are reasonable. For example, football players have to wear uniform to be easily recognisable during the play. This rule is reasonable. Proposed rule is not reasonable. Germany has one of the best teams in the world, you know why? Because it is a free country. Put the players in mental prison by forcing them to sing songs, and you will see, that their results will worsen. Only free individuals can achieve excellent results.
19:39 July 2, 2012 by beyjee

why, do you? unless you can give me a verified survey, i believe you don't know either.

i wonder though, all these millions you say who hate the US and still sing the national anthem, were they ever forced to sing it?

nope, thats right they werent forced. so you cant force these players to sing their national anthem either.

now who's full of it.
20:24 July 2, 2012 by Gretl
I think singing the national anthem needs to come from the heart. Forced patriotism just makes me resentful. I hate having to stand for the anthem before a movie on base. I feel like I am being brainwashed.

What I find strange is the discussion about natives having to find the time to learn the lyrics. What? How can you not know? Heck, we had to learn the lyrics of O Canada!

Our home and native land!

True patriot love in all thy sons command.

With glowing hearts we see thee rise,

The True North strong and free!

From far and wide,

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

God keep our land glorious and free!

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee."

Which for me begs the question, is it written from the First People's perspective?
20:32 July 2, 2012 by beyjee
@Leo Strauss

you should first demand from the german people to fully support all members of the national team and not just the ones with Teutonic blood. you should respectfully ask them not to throw bananas or show monkey signs at Boateng and Aogo, not to shout derogatory nazi chants at Podolski and Klose, not to say ignorant remarks about Ozils and Khediras ethnic roots. until you succeed with this, you cant refuse these players the simple right of neutral respect towards both their country of heritage and their adopted country.
20:37 July 2, 2012 by Leo Strauss

I think that your love of freedom is great, but I think that we are talking past each other here. :)

Once again, I am not suggesting that anyone, including German national players, be compelled under duress to sing the national anthem. I can`t say it any clearer than that.

I think that you would agree that the DFB has rules, and I am suggesting that there should be a rule whereby national players must sing the national anthem. Players would be aware of this rule before signing up and would then voluntarily contract with the DFB of their own free will to play for Germany. I do not advocate that individuals be forced to join the national team which would then require that they sing the national anthem under duress should they not wish to do so voluntarily. Can`t state it any clearer.

I am not saying that I would impose this rule retroactively on ízil, for example, thus compelling him to sing under duress. That would be North Korea, for example.

Also, there is no co-relation between success in sport and freedom, a term that we really haven`t even defined and agreed upon yet. One only has to remember the Oympic successes of the USSR and the GDR, for example, to see what I mean. :)
21:21 July 2, 2012 by paulspookys
National anthem is something that cannot be forced upon. One should feel from within that he or she belongs to the land (and not only do a job) to sing an anthem. We should make non teutonic germans feel they are now one of us in every respect without doubting their performance. If they are accepted and respected then only they will respect us back in a true sence.
22:13 July 2, 2012 by catjones
I think the second string should have to at least hum along; the third string could tap their foot and the fans in the stands, well, what should we do with them? germans have a real need for displays of nationalism to the point where they penalizing those who do not conform.

In other news, all german choirs will be required to wear numbers on their backs.
00:24 July 3, 2012 by lenny van
If one truly loves freedom, one has a duty to force others to sing songs that praise freedom. Freedom without responsibility is like a hot dog without pickles.
02:07 July 3, 2012 by hardly
ízil scored the only point for Germany.
02:42 July 3, 2012 by catjones
lenny van

'one has a duty to force others to sing songs that praise freedom. '
06:19 July 3, 2012 by silentone
I agree with you Germany. These players will play their football with one of the best teams on the planet. They will make their money in Germany. They will live in the stable and safe borders of germany...all for purely selfish reasons. Them not singing shows their true colors. They are nothing more than foreigners squatting inside the German state!
07:24 July 3, 2012 by TheWonderer
Wrong question!

It is not about whether they should be forced at all - after all, Germany is a free country that guarantees freedom rights (to do or not to do things).

It is about pride. Being proud on being a German, being proud on living in a state which grants me just that freedom.

Look at the Spanish or the Italian team - none of them was not enthusiastically singing along their anthem.

When some of the German players do not feel well about singing the anthem they should ask themselves whether they are in the right team - maybe they should better join other teams that fit them better.

But it is embarrassing to request the German nationality, make use of all rights, claim high pay - but then feel "uncomfortable" about it...

This is EXACTLY the case why so many constitutions do not permit having two nationalities - loyalty conflict. Sometimes there is only "either... or....", not "maybe" or "a little bit". Or have you ever heard about "a little bit pregnant"?

Same applies to loyalty for your county - you have it or haven't.

But if you haven't, you should not represent it.

Finally, I do believe that this loyalty will cause the enthusiasm that may cause the difference in the end - for some teams, it was more than just a job - it was about attitude.

Just my 2 Cents.

09:45 July 3, 2012 by Rhine
I am from Italy. One of our national team mid fielder has a German mother. Midfielder Riccardo Montolivo has the German flag stitched into his boots but his mother's Hamburg heritage was put to one side when the teams clashed in the Euro 2012 semi-final.

He said "it's for sure a special match,' Montolivo said. 'Part of me is German. I spent every summer in Germany until I was 15 with my grandparents near Hamburg and I'm still in touch with many friends there. But I feel Italian."

As a paid professional, he has to beat German counter part. However he showed more respect to Germany than Non German players of German national team. It is a right moment for removing ungrateful and opportunistic players from your national team.
12:46 July 3, 2012 by michael4096
Most of the arguments here boil down to "I would sing so everybody should sing." Rather silly, really.

A football team's job is to play football. If someone chooses not to sing the anthem then it is really no business of anybody else. Just because 'you' would sing or because 'you' can't understand somebody else not singing doesn't mean anything about their loyalty let alone their ability to play football.
13:08 July 3, 2012 by yourkeau
The number of "smart people" here on the Local is amazing:

"Look at the Spanish or the Italian team - none of them was not enthusiastically singing along their anthem."

Spanish anthem has no words.
13:50 July 3, 2012 by TheWonderer
Okay, bad example - but at least one person pays attention to what I state... ;-)

It only goes to show that all but the Germans are enthusiastic and demonstrate pride for their nation - it is only the Germans that do not dare to do so...

14:26 July 3, 2012 by Leo Strauss

I understand your point but I still believe that all national team players should sing the national anthem at international tournaments. I am not a nationalist but this is a national sporting event and the players are representing Germany. The players in question may have mixed loyalties/backgrounds and be confronted with racism, but they have made the personal decision to wear the national colors, which for me brings certain obligations. What they do while playing for their private clubs is their decision.

Don`t forget that racism is not confined to Germany- every visible minority footballer in Europe has to deal with this ugliness at some point in his career.
14:45 July 3, 2012 by frankiep
What's amazing is how many people here seem to have completely missed the point with their comments about how "their job is to just play football', "it's a free country and no one should be forced to it", "they are football players not singers", and "singing wouldn't have won the game for them".

I try not to believe that people are capable of being so dense that they completely miss the point - which is that if you are representing the country, then REPRESENT the country. If someone is uncomfortable or unwilling to conduct themselves as a proud representative of the country which is giving them the opportunity to showcase their skills in front of the world, then that person has no business being there in the first place. I am sure that there are plenty of other great players who could take their place and would be proud to represent their country. Football is an extremely emotional sport to begin with and playing with pride and passion means a lot.

If the people I work for send me to a high profile event as their representative, and I make no secret of the fact that I don't even particularly like them, then they would (rightfully) replace me with someone who shows that he is actually happy to be there.
15:56 July 3, 2012 by michael4096

"make no secret of the fact that I don't even particularly like them"

Since when has not wanting to sing been an indication of your love for your country?
16:18 July 3, 2012 by Leo Strauss

`Football is an extremely emotional sport to begin with and playing with pride and passion means a lot.`

I agree with your above post. I think that the problem is that there is absolutely no loyalty in professional sport today, and so why should we be surprised when there is none at the national team level? These players are simply traded to the highest bidder, hoping to be selected to join a collection of other mercenaries in order to form a `team` that can make a one-time run at the championship or at best establish a dynasty if the club has enough money.

There was a time long ago when players remained with one club for the duration of their careers, so that player AND fan loyalty made sense and was rewarded.

"their job is to just play football'

As you point out, the people who have made these comments just don`t get it. It`s not a `job` to play for the national team, it is an honor. Sadly these comments are understandable in the context of our current Sport-as-corporate business model. The truth is, If players don`t feel a sense of pride and privilege to play for Germany then they shouldn`t.

That`s not to say that national teams can`t have pride, but the players have to be ready to give 100% of body AND soul for this to happen.
18:07 July 3, 2012 by yourkeau
"I am sure that there are plenty of other great players who could take their place and would be proud to represent their country."

We already have bad politicians because people do not vote for professionals, they vote for those who sing songs and wear suits. Now you propose to have bad football players who can do nothing but "represent" a country by singing some songs.

What will be next?
19:21 July 3, 2012 by Struwel
Seems like it has been some time that all of the team did sing the national anthem when they played against Italy or what else could be the reason they always lost the games?

How can we only judge people by whether they sing the national anthem? Not singing it does not mean that they don't respect values such as unity, justice and freedom or that they are not loyal or don't love their country. Perhaps some were too tense to sing or they still did need a few minutes to focus still more on the game or they simply feel uncomfortable to sing in the public.

I would like to see that at all as a silly discussion what would work if there would not be that "being forced", that and some comments I've read somewhere else give me an uneasy feeling.

However, no-one would talk about that not singing if the team had won the EM. They reached the third place, four German players - one of them ízil - are in the All-Star team, so how about a thank you for good games and a nice time and to show the team that you stand by them.
20:07 July 3, 2012 by Leo Strauss

`no-one would talk about that not singing if the team had won the EM`

Not true. Parents like me had to talk about it because my children noticed it while many Germans as well as non-German posters here feel that it is a sign of ingratitude.

Your comment is what I have been talking about in this post. Are these national team players just a gang of mercenaries to fans like you, who are only concerned about whether or not the German team wins? These athletes are role models- of course Ozil is an All-Star, he`s incredible. But they are playing as representatives of Germany not Real, for example. If they refuse to sing the national anthem then of course they are disrespecting the country they are representing. Their gesture, or lack thereof, is crystal clear. Do you think these players are unaware of what they doing?

One demonstrates his love and respect for his country by singing the anthem- that`s why such rituals exist.
23:15 July 3, 2012 by Struwel
@Leo Strauss

Okay, I understand why you had to talk about it. But I don't think that it would've been a topic for the Bild, Beckenbauer or any of the politicians, just like I can't imagine that it has been the first time that not everybody of the team did sing the anthem. And I wonder if anybody ever asked those who did not sing for their reason. If not, how do you can be sure that it's crystal clear that it's disrespect? As long as no-one talked with them that all is nothing more than guessing and an assumption that some players do not love and respect Germany.

It seems to me that singing the national anthem not necessarily demostrates someone's love and respect for their country - one can sing it and still think that Germany (just for example) is an ugly country. This is why I actually don't need such rituals. Yes, they may be role models and they are playing as representatives of Germany and that made them give their best for the country they love and respect.
00:54 July 4, 2012 by royp
will all singers now be forced at each concert to play football, maybe GEMA had prevented the team from singing because they had not paid the correct license fee.
07:17 July 4, 2012 by beyjee
@Leo Strauss

you seem to miss the point. no one is saying that not singing the anthem is ideal. of course its not ideal but its not bad either because these are people's personal beliefs, you cant just force your own on them. unless you've walked in their shoes as immigrants, you dont know how they feel. dont just dismiss them by saying racism happens in other countries anyway so they SHOULD sing the anthem like you because you want conformity in how Germans pay respect. its like your saying 'Hey Ozil, Khedira, Podolski, Klose, Boateng, it seems you do not respect Germany enough, be like me, respect it more.' why do you think Podolski, Khedira, Ozil, Boateng and Klose dont respect Germany enough? you dont know them personally so you're really just assuming that its true. how would you feel to score a goal against your mother country? Ozil did that against Turkey to beat them in front thousands of turks and millions more on TV. he could've just elected not to play, but he played and to me thats more important than not singing the anthem. people in Turkey consider him a traitor for playing for Germany, even his friends on the Turkish football team disrespect him. how about Poldi and Klose, they get a lot of bad press in Poland when they play against their mother country. they even receive death threats. yet they still play for Germany. maybe not singing the anthem for them is a way of keeping whatever little pride that's left for their country of heritage. thats what you tell your kids when they watch them on TV. tell them to be proud of these boys, teach them the values of empathy and respect, they will understand it when they grow up and will thank you for it.
14:19 July 4, 2012 by Rhine
There is an old saying in Italy. When you are in Rome, you have to behave like Roman. If one of the immigrant player behaved like German players, Italy football federation will not tolerate like German. Scoring goal against their native land alone can not justified as their loyalty & respect to their adopted nation.

After all, they are making fortune because of training, media exposure & grooming from national team. Singing demonstrate as their appreciation & gratitude. The whole world is watching them. Not only Germany. If they are uncomfortable about representing their adopted land, they only have to play for professional club or their choice of nation which they are comfortable!
14:43 July 4, 2012 by Leo Strauss

I think that you may be right that had they won the Bild and politicians would have remained silent on this issue. Then again, maybe not. The Bild loves to push these wedge issues and conservative politicians are always looking out to score cheap points, so maybe they would have brought this whole thing up.

Of course your are right, for some athletes singing the national anthem would be an empty gesture, but I still think that it is an important part of a state`s national ritual. The singing of the national anthem is a classic political football and means of political statement. Not singing or not standing. What are you saying through your non-participation? Or the Afro-American Olympic athletes who raised their fists on the podium during the playing of the American national anthem in support of the Black Panthers and against racism in the US? It means something, just as singing along demonstrates respect.


Let me simplify things by saying that all national team players should sing the anthem at international events- not only the Germans. That`s my position, not that you think that I have something against these guys- I don`t.

To me, they put on the German `uniform`, meaning `one form` and they are then German players. Not hypenated players - not Turkish-German or Polish-German- just German. Anyway, ask yourself, is there anything that makes the racists more angry than to see these guys with different backgrounds singing the German national hymn? This would be saying, `We have immigrant backgrounds but we are here as Germans on a German national team. And so...let`s play`. This should be completely normal, don`t you think? To me this would be much more effective than not singing- this only gives the Braun types more ammunition to say- `Hey look, they just don`t fit in!`

Anyway, you guys, I see that you also have your opinions on this and I respect them. We are in Germany and can have this dialogue between us- that`s something. :)
14:45 July 4, 2012 by beyjee

if you are going to quote someone, do it properly. the old saying goes 'when in rome do as the romans do'. it is attributed to St. Abrose who lived around 330 BC back when the Roman Empire was at its peak. just to educate you, the saying was made during a time when the Roman Empire had so much national pride that they killed entire nations for the glory of Rome including germanic tribes. the saying is of a different era so its hardly a good example to prove your point in this day and age.
19:18 July 4, 2012 by LittleMac
I'm an American, and I still live in Chicago (hopefully not for long! ;) ) When I was a little girl, my Nana took us to one Chicago Cubs game per summer. At these games, she taught me how to crack a peanut shell, score a game, and stand with respect while singing the national anthem. Because I was raised that way, I always notice who sings, who looks disinterested, etc. I did notice there were German players not singing, but I didn't think they were disrespectful.

After reading all the comments and thinking about it, I really think it isn't too much to ask for the players to sing. Let's say it takes one minute to play the German anthem. It's only sixty seconds for each player to sing and show respect and pride for a country that is your home. As a professional athele and a representative of the country you are playing for, it is your duty to be an example.

Back in 1992 when the "Dream Team" went to the Olympics, Clyde Drexler said that after the Olympics he finally understood how great the national anthem is. He said that moment made him feel so much pride that he could hardly control his emotions each time he heard it since....
04:22 July 5, 2012 by Rhine

Thanks for your history lesson. I have no offence about Roman Barbaric Act. Things have changed now. In the civiized society, people respect each other custom, tradition and national pride. Paid employee have to respect the employer policy. Highly paid footballers from Europe are role models of next generation too.

Football is selfless sport. Everyone has to share the team sprit as same color, same attitude and same manner. If someone is not willing to share, he does not belong to his team.

The sad truth about many western nations have many fair weather immigrants who concern about their welfare and interest only.
17:22 July 5, 2012 by dinerouk
I would stop all anthems. It's a waste of time and helps the morons to whistle and boo the other sides' anthems.
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