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Sport ghost games: What soccer is visibly lacking

19:55  17 may  2020
19:55  17 may  2020 Source:   xml.zeit.de

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Bundesliga ghost games rob sport of its importance as a cultural event. Suddenly it's clear what this is about. And that can cause lasting damage.

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The world in the pandemic is deceptive. The birds are singing, the sun is flashing between harmless clouds and the people on the streets and in the gardens still look healthy after two months. For the majority, the danger remains abstract; the more "everyday life" is allowed, the more it becomes. And those who are not capable of abstraction can now fall into this idea: that there is really nothing worth talking about.

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In this respect, the resumption of play in the men's soccer leagues is an educational stroke of luck that comes with the other easing at just the right time. Little could the continued threat better visualize than the absence of hundreds of thousands in the stadiums. Because without it, the media staging of football breaks down into meaningless individual parts. Thumped trailers that claim past excitement with archive images are followed by the perfectly mic-coated Flunk and Pöhl of a technocratic present. The course of the game is stripped of any drama without the excitement in the audience: a simple sequence of actions of highly cultivated bodies, a gradual development of dominance and inferiority or the neutralization of strength, as in the draws in Leipzig or Düsseldorf on Saturday. "Goal in Sinsheim" screams disappear in the nothingness of a Sky Bundesliga conference that doesn't do too much wrong, except to be there without irony. What exactly made this event so emotional in the old days?

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Best example of Revierderby, from a winner's perspective. How nuanced that would have been in the past, with all the uniqueness of a 4: 0 of the more expensive over the cheaper team! First goal - initial jubilation. Second goal - euphoria. Third goal - exuberance. Fourth goal - big grin and patronizing "Okay, that should be enough even with this coach". Now more like this: Aha, aha, aha, aha. No coincidences, no moments of defiance, no burgeoning hope of the losers. Only stoic, uninterrupted consistency.

Of course, at this point it can be objected that modern professional football has had this tendency for a long time, especially German league football, with its almost always the same first and second winners. In this respect, the Corona Ghost League with its inevitable focus on the ratio of the sporty (and behind it: that of money) only produces moments of an older truth. The question is whether the obvious now can be repressed when the times are different again.

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Football lives from human resonance

It is entirely possible that this tragedy, which is to continue for weeks now, leads to a lasting loss of meaning for football: football works through participation, its meaning is constituted through resonance, about what people think of it attach, also because he connects them with other people who also attach something to him. How insignificant, however, is a goal by Erling Haaland in times of short-time work and excessive family demands?

This is not even good for aesthetic escapism, because football as a cultural product is undoubtedly exposed as dubious without a stadium audience. Artistry has always been a rather hollow form of virtuosity, and virtuosity has always been a hollow form of creating culture. But the ghost games, without the collective constitution of importance, obviously have nothing more to offer.

Not included in the calculation are the impossible football officials, the Watzkes and Tönnies, who in recent weeks have not had a look over the ruins of their increasingly male leadership style for the concerns of all those to whom they are privileged think . On Saturday, of course, they also had their appearances in front of long microphone sticks, where they could claim that that all players wanted to play and the world (of football) at least with curiosity (if not admiration) for the German Football League and its hygiene concept watch . And while it remained strangely unfounded why anyone should be more interested than the internal constraints of other sectors of the economy, one could well ask what connected one with these fellows. And whether something should ever connect you again.

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