A Particular Aftertaste ⋆ An Old International

A Particular Aftertaste

A player declares his career over after a public exchange about the political allegiances of some of his business partners. This leaves a particular aftertaste and sounds somewhat shallow.

football and politcs

When it comes to politics, football often kowtows with the wrong side of the spectrum. Exceptions only confirm the rule. One of those exceptions are Eintracht Frankfurt whose president made it clear that any fan with racist or similar misanthropic views will be excluded from the club or barred from becoming a member of the club in the first place. This is a very important stance, given that football as a mirror of society simply cannot be free of any of those mindsets. And no club can control the minds of their fans.

This stance however has lately been severely tested. The Austrian international, Martin Hinteregger, has become the target of scrutiny by the journalist Michael Bonvalot who published his research into the background of a football tournament. It brought to light that Hinteregger organized this with the support of a local politician who was a member of the FPÖ and has been a local councillor for the city of Graz but more importantly has links and ties to the identitarian movement in Austria.

headless chicken

The player acted headless in accusing the journalist as left extremist and never stood up to the allegation. Instead he terminated his career at Frankfurt and for the Austrian national team with immediate effect. The statement published on the club’s website reads that he has been thinking about this season possibly being his last since the start back in July/August. He stated that the defeats hurt twice as much while victories did not feel as good as before. His performances varied and though the spring saw him experiencing a boos in form and performance, his decision seemed set, yet lacked conviction it transpires. In this statement he also distances himself from racist thoughts and apologies for some of his statements. All fair and square at last?

It is the least that can be expected from Hinteregger seeing his initial reaction to these revelations. Though, it sounds hollow. It helps the club saving face and yet leaves a particular aftertaste. The board of directors and president of the club should have intervened straight away.

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© twitter image by Ailura via Wiki Commons under CC BY-SA 3.0 AT

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