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What role athletes play in democracy in sport


A faction has grown up that no longer asks for co-determination: Here Karla Borger, President of Athletes Germany.
Image: picture alliance / Eibner press photo

More democracy is needed in sport. But there is only more co-determination in the associations if the athletes take it for themselves. There are signs of change.

Mith democracy in sport, that’s a thing. Would be desirable. But society likes to smile about the little potentates in the realm of their physical exercises. Think back to Bernie Ecclestone, how he celebrated the dictatorship as a Formula 1 zampano and practiced it in practice. Or to the postponer of athletics, Lamine Diack, who died in 2021. When the show is right and the result shines, then there isn’t much demand in sport, is there? The question of how the 2006 World Cup was awarded to Germany still seems troublesome to this day. It was a summer fairy tale. Yes it was.

Last week, sports experts spent a working day in Berlin discussing the state of the associations with a view to the Basic Law. They did not agree on whether the scene was undergoing progressive change or at a standstill, whether decisions would continue to be made mainly in the back room or on the open stage, transparently, given the appearance of co-determination.

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