Opinion: Could a New Summer Fairy Tale Be Possible? Germany fears worst | game

A unified and open European Championship celebration is good for Germany and the whole of Europe, writes sports journalist Johanna Nordling.

In 2006, Germany experienced a summer fairytale, a path that began and culminated in the World Championship in 2014. Credit: Corbis/Getty Images
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Johanna NordlingSports reporter

KREFELD. The European Championship finally kicks off in Germany, and nearly 15 million football tourists from abroad are expected in the country. Stadiums are already decorated with UEFA designs, cities are gearing up for huge fanfests, long beer benches in beer gardens are already waiting for spectators.

Party-minded people are much needed!

That’s it.

The atmosphere before home games in Germany is very sensitive.

On the one hand, like the World Cup in 2006, we hope home games will be a joyous and liberating national celebration. Back then, the sun shone relentlessly and German cities were filled with racing tourists and black-red-yellow home fans cheering for their national team.

That summer 2006 was a summer fairy tale, called Sommermärchen. It was a social turning point, as Germans who had been so critical of their sense of nationalism suddenly learned how to be proud of their own country.

On the other hand, there is also pessimism in the air. As in the last three prestigious matches – the fear and forecast that the national team will not win again – and the rain will whip around the necks of the fans, and the atmosphere will not rise, but will be weak.

And the 1980s and 1990s often saw Germany’s colors misused for neo-Nazi purposes as far-right circles regained strength in some parts of the country.

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Comparing the original summer wonderland year 2006 to the current situation, the world and Germany are in stark contrast. In 2006, the world political situation was calm and Germany was doing well economically, the country’s political situation was very stable. There were ingredients for carelessness.

Now that Europe is at war, Russia is excluded from the Games. Israel is also involved in the war, and Germany has had a particularly protective relationship with Israel since World War II.

The economic situation is dire, the climate crisis is creating fears, and major floods devastated southern Germany just before the Games.

A number of difficult issues have divided Germany as a society, particularly in the east, where the party’s far-right vote draws support from the authority-monitored AfD party.

The security officials of the European Championship have a huge workload ahead of them. In addition to the traditional hooligan groups, there is the fear of the terrorist threat, and – hopefully – even if nothing happens, the shadow of the threat hangs over sports.

I know some people who don’t want to go into town with their kids for EC fanfests just in case something happens. Understandable, but at the same time a bad solution, because if the potential threat takes away people’s freedom of movement, it is already a defeat for a democratic and free society.

The fairy-tale state of carelessness seems difficult to achieve this summer.

Yet football can do that.

The key to the summer fairytale will be a win for the German home team. If By Julian Nagelsmann The national team he pilots, what the head coach aims for, that is, offensive and entertaining play and, of course, victories – then happiness can explode in the air in a second.

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The futs-mad Germans have disappointed in the last three prestigious matches, so a strong playing home team will be a big positive surprise.

So at best, football can unite Germany for a while this summer. At its best, the European Championship will be a summer filled with positive energy for racing tourists and home crowds alike, a collective sporting celebration during which worries and controversies fade away.

At the same time, you must remember that the power of fairy tales is not based on the fact that they are true. But the function of fairy tales is to teach a lesson for life. That is why a unified and open European Championship celebration is good for Germany and the whole of Europe.

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