Youth of today, daily newspaper Junge Welt, April 12, 2024

An old saying goes that to err is human (and to persist in error is devilish). As a fan advocate and football fan, I have been in courtrooms and stadiums for many years and have accumulated a certain amount of experience when it comes to this sport and its supporters. The interested reader will also find much of this in this column. Whether it’s about fan rights, ever-increasing commercialization or police violence, all of this is a regular topic here. My predictions often came true. But not always. At the time of Corona, I predicted that the masses of fans would no longer make the pilgrimage to the stadiums in such large numbers once the pandemic was over. I assumed that many people would turn away from football even more because they realized during Corona that there are also other nice leisure activities. But currently the stadiums are more full than ever. And not just in the Bundesliga, but also in the leagues below.

Football still attracts the crowds. For me, that’s just fantastic, because there’s nothing nicer than a full, atmospheric stadium. And it’s mainly young fans who are new here. This is what I am told again and again in my readings. But more and more very young supporters are also attending the numerous legal aid events that I offer on fan rights. They ask about their rights and want to exchange ideas. But one thing is a little different than when I was socialized in football: they love their club just like we did, but even the very young fans today are much more distant from the associations, which they usually no longer consider to be part of the club Perceive the football world, but only as an opponent or even an enemy. And so I, an old hand, am as happy as a snow king about the young, self-confident fans in the stadiums. Keep your skepticism, stay critical and always be loud and enthusiastic.

“Sport free!” from the fan advocate.


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