For years, the German men's national football team has been on a downward slide. One debacle has followed the next since the preliminary round exit at the 2018 World Cup, yet the DFB (German Football Association) team is still the fifth most valuable national team in the world in terms of market value at 772.5 million euros, ahead of, for example, the current world champions Argentina. Most of the players are not world-class, but most of them still have international class. It stands to reason that the failures of the DFB eleven can be traced back to poor morale within the team coached by Hansi Flick. Bad moods have been made public several times in recent years, often in connection with political actions.

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Although it has never been otherwise that professional sports in the national kit served as a propaganda tool for the ruling class in the respective country, as far as the DFB team is concerned, a clearly increasing tendency can be identified. The focus was often on the (now, after the World Cup 2022, dismissed) national team's business manager, Oliver Bierhoff. In 2018, there was a big fuss about a photo of the two Turkish-born national team players Mesut Özil and İlkay Gündoğan with Turkish President Erdoğan. Even though Özil has made his sentiments relatively open with gray-wolf tattoos today, at the time it was merely an innocuous picture with the head of government of their families' country that sparked a massive chauvinist campaign. After the elimination at the World Cup, Bierhoff fired up the words "We have never forced players to do anything with the German national team so far, but always tried to convince them for a cause. We didn't succeed in doing that with Mesut. And in this respect, we should have considered whether to do without him on a sporting basis," supposedly meaning only "sportingly," the portrayal of Özil as a scapegoat for Germany's World Cup failure.

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At the latest since the European Championship 2020 (held because of Corona in 2021) it is obvious how the national team is directly used as a showcase for the interests of the German imperialists. At that time, the contradictions with the Orban lackey regime in the semi-colony and EU country Hungary, which has repeatedly shown closeness to Russian imperialism, had come to a head a bit, and German imperialism used a new law in Hungary restricting the information rights of young people on "LGBTIQ* content" as a pretext to interfere in the internal affairs of this after all sovereign state. Complementary to the attempts to force a withdrawal of the law via the European Union, actions were planned at the EC to demonstrate the "values" of the imperialists. The pictures of the specially illuminated stadium had already been spread across the Internet before the Germany-Hungary match in the group stage of the European Football Championship, when UEFA came up with the idea of actually abiding by its own laws and banned the propaganda action of the FRG for the assertion of its interests within Europe, carried out by the DFB and the city of Munich, which had applied to make the foil cushions of the front of the Allianz Arena glow in rainbow colors, as a "political proposal". The fact that the paragraphs were adhered to was met with outrage by the representatives of the German bourgeoisie, from the mayor of Munich and the then Chancellor Merkel to the "super-conservative" Markus Söder and the current Chancellor Olaf Scholz - remember, while complaining about the lack of democracy in Hungary. The EU, headed by German imperialism, wanted to take action against Orban's law; EU Commission President von der Leyen, representative of a state where, for example, abortion is essentially still banned, from a party that after all itself partly vehemently opposed gay marriage until its introduction in 2017, said this "disgrace" contradicted human rights, and stressed that the EU "does not compromise on these principles." In support of the encroachment on Hungary's sovereignty, countless clubs, organizations, companies, so many that - just like some bourgeois parties - until a few years ago were not at all rainbow-like, willingly joined the campaign of German imperialism for the strengthening of its hegemony in the EU and against the influence of Russian imperialism in EU countries, dipping their logos in rainbow colors, hanging flags etc. Here, too, the DFB was at the forefront - especially with the planned action for the Allianz Arena. Before the start of the game, the Prussian underdogs in the stands, who obviously no longer had to behave as humbly as they once did in Bern in 1954, booed the Hungarians during their national anthem. An evening of chauvinism under the rainbow reached its climax when a police squad of hundreds suddenly advanced in front of the Hungarian fan tribune during the second half; ostensibly to prevent a storming of the field, but symbolic of German imperialism's treatment of Hungary at that moment. The brazenness was then taken to the extreme by a Munich policeman who, just as the DFB eleven was stalling for time at a corner, kicked away the ball he was about to fetch from a Hungarian player with his heel. Leon Goretzka's goal celebration afterwards was also a "side blow" to Hungary. With these actions, the DFB and German imperialism also exceeded the measure of the other "Western" imperialists, whose teams at the European Championship merely knelt down regularly before the start of the game to set a grandiose "sign against racism," which was fundamentally intended as a provocation against Russian imperialism.

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The DFB continued its strategy in the following major tournament, the World Cup in Qatar at the end of 2022. Whereas, according to various bourgeois estimates, up to 15,000 guest workers had lost their lives in Qatar for the construction of the stadiums, partly due to the involvement of German capital, the DFB and also the press were initially particularly keen to talk about gay rights in Qatar. The players were to wear a "One Love" rainbow armband as part of the "protest", "to speak out against exclusion of LGBTQ+ people, but also against racism and anti-Semitism." Interior Minister Faeser, who traveled to Qatar, ZDF and RTL (German TV channels) presenters wore the armband, and large companies such as REWE (supermarket) made an explicit case for it. At the World Cup, the armband became a small symbol of German imperialism, its "value-driven foreign policy," its economic claims on the globe. Two days before the opening game, FIFA explicitly reminded the players that it was forbidden to wear it, whereupon the DFB instructed them to make a mouth-to-mouth gesture during the team photo before the first match. The initiator in front of the team here was once again Oliver Bierhoff, who, as a professional lobbyist, certainly had a knack for spreading the instructions of the bourgeois politicians in the DFB. The team, however, did not seem that enthusiastic about the measures, with only Manuel Neuer and Leon Goretzka supporting the plans for a protest action. The absolute majority "didn't want to do anything at all and were no longer very well disposed towards Oliver Bierhoff or the entire staff, who were involved in the action, spoke to the team, worked it out. They wanted to concentrate on the sporting side of things." Even Coach Flick can be heard saying angrily in the trailer for a documentary series on the DFB's Qatar adventure coming in September, "We only talked about politics."

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The football summer brought the DFB women the preliminary World Cup exit, the men a lot of defeats and the 1000th international match, which as a charity match against Ukraine should set "a clear signal for peace and communication beetween the peoples and against war and destruction" (DFB President Bernd Neuendorf - who, by the way, was already party executive spokesman of the SPD in Berlin and its press spokesman in North Rhine-Westphalia). Under the eyes of, among others, German President Steinmeier and Ukrainian Ambassador Makeyev, there was a lax 3:3 in Bremen, which almost left the impression of "planned in advance". The bottom line is that recent years have shown how the use of the national team as a showcase for the interests of German imperialism collides with the interests of professional footballers, who primarily want their money and personal success and are now expected to convey more and more messages dictated from above. Imperialist chauvinism, which is also fueled by the DFB, also hinders team unity and may cost the DFB valuable players with foreign roots like Leroy Sane, Jamal Musiala or Emre Can, as it did with Özil. These are all effects of the imperialist propaganda by the DFB, and it is in this respect, of course, gratifying for the revolutionaries that it is restraining itself a bit and that the imperialist-chauvinist propaganda of national sport is much less likely to reach the masses because of the unsuccessfulness of the athletes.

Even aside of football, professional athletes are used for propaganda, or sometimes do it quite voluntarily. The chauvinistic appearance of Olympic figure skating champion and police officer Claudia Pechstein at the CDU convention, where she called for the expulsion of rejected asylum seekers with arguments such as that old people can no longer "use public transport without having to cast anxious glances to the left and right", and incidentally violated her duty of neutrality as a civil servant, is entirely in the light of the reactionarisation of the state as a reaction of the bourgeoisie to the worsening crisis, in particular the adaptation of many of the AfD's demands, and was therefore not for nothing so praised by Friedrich Merz in particular.

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