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Every fifth German wants ‘whiter’ national football team – poll

According to the survey, 17% of respondents are also unhappy with the squad being led by a captain of Turkish descent

Twenty-one percent of Germans would like to see more white-skinned players representing their country in international football tournaments, a recent poll has indicated. Social media users and professional players have been quick to attack national broadcaster ARD for posing the question in the first place.

The survey was conducted in early April by pollster Infratest dimap, and polled 1,304 Germans eligible to vote. The study was commissioned as part of a documentary entitled “Unity and justice and diversity – the national team between racism and identification.”

According to the poll’s findings published on Saturday, 21% of respondents agreed with the statement: “I would like it better if more white players played on the German national team.” That sentiment was not shared by 65% of people polled.

In addition, 17% told the pollster that they were unhappy with the squad being led by Ilkay Gundogan due to his Turkish descent. By contrast, 67% of respondents had no issue with the captain’s ethnicity.

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The survey showed that among supporters of the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AFD) party, 47% said they would like to see a ‘whiter’ team. Green Party voters were at the opposite end of the spectrum, with only 5% saying so.

Joshua Kimmich, a member of the German national football team, expressed dismay on Saturday, calling the results “absolutely racist.”

“Football can unite different skin colors and religions,” he argued.

The FC Bayern Munich star also tore into the broadcaster that commissioned the poll. “It is absolutely absurd to pose such a question ahead of a home European Football Championship, when it’s actually about uniting the whole country,” the player opined.

“This survey by ARD is absolutely counterproductive,” Kimmich concluded.

Numerous commentators on X (formerly Twitter) and Instagram have also criticized the very premise of the poll.

Responding to these comments, the filmmakers behind the documentary and the survey which it includes explained that during the course of their work they encountered the narrative that there are too few ethnic Germans playing professional football in the country. The crew said it “certainly didn’t want to echo [this based on anecdotal evidence], but rather base it on well-funded data.”

“We are shocked ourselves that the results are the way they are, but they are also a representation of the social situation in today’s Germany,” the filmmakers stressed.

June 02, 2024 at 06:56PM

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