A nationalist politician is under fire for appearing to suggest the German soccer team isn’t German enough. Beatrix von Storch tweeted that “perhaps next time the German NATIONAL TEAM should play again?” after losing the European Championship semi-final to France. Her choice of the German word “Nationalmannschaft” instead of the term “Die Mannschaft” now commonly used for the squad was seen as criticism of immigrant players. Berlin’s state interior minister Frank Henkel accused her on Friday of “wallowing in racist prejudices”.
Who is this pathetic person who can’t be happy that we’re the world champions?
Omid Nouripour, of the opposition Greens party
Members of von Storch’s Alternative for Germany party have been criticised in the past for disparaging remarks about a black soccer player, suggesting border guards should be allowed to shoot refugees and for downplaying the Holocaust. She later deleted the tweet, claiming it had been a misunderstanding and she was not referring to individual players. “I will keep calling them the Nationalmannschaft (national team) because that’s what it is, with all its players,” she wrote. In May, another AfD deputy leader, Alexander Gauland, attacked team star Jerome Boateng: “People find him good as a footballer, but they don’t want to have a Boateng as a neighbour.”
Armin Laschet, of chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU party