Germany: Football fans protest country's EURO 2024 bid

By Doga Kirmizioglu

ANKARA (AA) – During matches this week German football fans have protested the country’s nomination to host EURO 2024 by holding up banners and chanting.

In April, the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) and the German Football Association (DFB) submitted their official bids to host the event.

UEFA’s Executive Committee, European football's governing body, is set to select the host country for the 2024 European Championship next Thursday.

During Saturday’s match between Augsburg and Werder Bremen, fans chanted against Germany’s EURO 2024 nomination.

Fans of Bundesliga’s second-league team, Dynamo Dresden, unfurled a banner during a match with Darmstadt saying: “We don’t need tournaments bought with euros. We need change.”

On Friday, Stuttgart fans also showed off a banner saying: “United by money – Corrupt in the heart of Europe,” mocking Germany’s EURO 2024 bid slogan, “United by Football.”

– Bribery, racism allegations

For the last two years the DFB, which is competing with the Turkish Football Federation to host EURO 2024, has been rocked by fraud and racism allegations.

In 2015, Der Spiegel newsweekly claimed that Germany paid €6.7 million in bribes to secure the 2006 World Cup. Wolfgang Niersbach, then head of the DFB, was forced to resign over bribery allegations, and FIFA banned him from football for a year.

Reinhard Grindel, the DFB’s current head, has also been tarnished by racism allegations.

In July, Turkish-German footballer Mesut Ozil quit the national team, citing racial discrimination.

Early this summer, Ozil was criticized by German politicians and media outlets for meeting with Turkish President Erdogan in London ahead of Turkey’s June 24 general elections.

Ozil defended the meeting and a photo he took with Erdogan, saying that they were not about politics, but respect for his family’s home country.

He also accused far-right politicians and media of using the photo “as an opportunity to express their previously hidden racist tendencies” ahead of June's World Cup.

He sparked a debate in the country with his decision to quit the team over what he called discrimination and racist propaganda.

Ozil also said that Grindel failed to support him when he was getting hate mail, threatening phone calls, and racist comments on social media.

The DFB head later admitted that he had not been supportive enough.

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