For a small photo project we photographed sports fields today and since the football world cup is taking place, there are a few more views and insights as an addition to the photos. First of all - I've never been very interested in soccer, although sport means a lot to me and I like team games. However, I always found it good how much strength and distraction friends and acquaintances could and can draw from this sport even as spectators.
Directing the reality accent to another world for a short time and being able to absorb yourself in it has been known since the publication of "Structures of the Lifeworld" by Alfred Schütz and Thomas Luckmann as a necessary vehicle to take necessary breaks from the worries and problems of the real world just to be able to preserve the world; Breaks that contribute significantly to a healthy life cycle. If some are able to place the accent on reality in an opera in order to get this break from everyday worries, visiting or watching a soccer game is even suitable for the masses and another social dimension of "soccer" becomes apparent, which goes far beyond e.g. fun, pastime and physical exercise and is accompanied by the happy ending of a victory or the drama of a defeat.
If you share these thoughts, then of course you have to ask yourself what is necessary to keep this "soccer world" as an occasional or personally institutionalized opportunity to change from the "real world" and so that this source of power in society is preserved and usable?
What certainly doesn't work is looking at soccer players as robots being led like marionettes across the pitch to victory. One occasionally reads comments like "With such high fees, they simply have to play better" etc. This simple view quickly overlooks the human component of the players, who, like everyone else, carry all global, regional and local worries with them. The more of it there is in the real world, the more the imperative mental focus on the goal of wanting to win a game is impaired. If the player does not manage to focus the individual reality accent on this goal with confidence in its achievability, a happy ending after 90 + X minutes of play is questionable. Of course, the chances are highest when the player doesn't have to carry around any mental baggage and can be sure of the support of the spectators - near and far.
But how did it look for the WM-11 at this World Cup with the mental ballast of the players? The individual influences can be shown according to the three categories of global, regional and local influences.
The global situation is frightening. Russia is at war in Ukraine, two years of Covid restrictions, Trump is back in the US, Erdogan is pulling out all the (war) stops to stay in power, protesters for women's rights are being bludgeoned in Iran .... and last but not least, with climate change, it now seems to be five past 12.
And what is the regional situation in Germany that the players faced before and after they left for Qatar?
Media din about armbands, rainbow flags, discriminating words about the cults of the hosts, whose traditional clothing as dressing gowns are denigrated on TV, human rights violations, suspected corruption, bribery, FIFA, excessive fees - the media have worked through all the possible negative side effects of this World Cup and constantly outdoing each other in their revelations and claims.
And do we Germans really presume to judge the culture in Qatar, e.g. because of its religious rules? In our model country, the current pedophile scandals, e.g. in the Catholic Church, have been forgotten. Or our outrage at the status of homosexuals in Qatar? The fact that up to 1969 around 50,000 men in Germany were still being convicted of Nazi paragraph 175 because of their gender orientation was probably forgotten. Those affected have only been compensated since 2016 and that was just eight years ago. As part of the law school at the high school, we were still allowed to take part in a 175 trial at the Bochum district court in 1968, and we all felt sorry for the accused, who would have preferred to hide under his bench during the embarrassing five-hour trial.
And since everything is so bad in Qatar and we are so much better in Germany, we don't even watch the games and deprive our WM11 of this important source of energy.
And the local situation in Qatar for the players?
The players had to think about armbands and the right poses; you have to be politically correct and have one foot in the new rainbow world while not trampling on the rules of the hosts...because your feet should really only be kicking after you, after the ball towards the generic goal.
So we sent a team to Qatar to which we gave one thing, above all, that you weren't allowed to play there, that FIFA was a degenerate club and, the best thing of all, that we didn't watch our national team's games because of our cultural superiority would look at.
And the team did their best to live up to our standards under the circumstances, they posed and accused and thus successfully left Qatar - because we weren't really interested in football, were we? Now the teams seem to be the most successful if their country didn't pack such a hypocritical dowry in their backpacks as our World Cup 11 had to carry with them. Given these conditions, the players could have ended the national anthem with the well-known "Morituri te salutant" - great that they didn't do it!
Apropos - for reasons similar to those mentioned above, I resigned from Greenpeace after decades of membership of this associationdue to the flight demonstration in the Munich stadium during a football game. And, football still doesn't interest me, but functioning European societies that don't destroy people's mental retreats, but preserve them, do.