The controversial term “The Team” will no longer be used as a nickname for the men’s selection of the German Football Association. While the women’s team was enthusiastic about reaching the European Championship final, the DFB decided after months of controversial discussion to no longer actively advertise the men’s national team with the marketing concept introduced in 2015.
The nickname is well known and is particularly popular abroad, explained DFB President Bernd Neuendorf. “He stands for values such as team spirit and success.
But it is also a fact that he is sometimes viewed critically and discussed emotionally in fan circles in this country, ”said Neuendorf on Thursday after a unanimous decision, the supervisory board and shareholders’ meeting of DFB GmbH
The chairman of the supervisory board, Alexander Wehrle, admitted that opinions on the term also differed within the DFB. “This is a clear sign of the polarization of a name that everyone should actually rally behind,” explained Wehrle.
Neuendorf emphasized that the appearance of the national team is more important than the name. The restart was impressively successful for the team of national coach Hansi Flick last year.
“I don’t think that the name “The Team” – or whatever – ultimately contributes to whether we succeed or not,” said Flick at the beginning of June on the sidelines of the Nations League game in Italy.
“I can only say: For me it’s ‘The Team’ because everyone is a part of Germany and everyone likes to play for this nation,” added the national coach.
DFB director Oliver Bierhoff had pointed out that the majority of fans would have a positive attitude towards the label, “especially young football fans”, as market research had shown.
If the presidium of the DFB decides otherwise despite factual arguments, he can live with it. However, there should not only be emotional reasons for the abolition. Bierhoff was not quoted in the DFB announcement.
Recent surveys had shown that there is at least no unanimous approval for the term. In a survey published a week ago by the market and opinion research institute forsa on behalf of RTL and ntv, only 24 percent were in favor of keeping the term.
Almost half of the 1001 respondents found it good or very good. Previously, the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” reported on a survey in which 78.4 percent of around 5,300 supporters and customers of the Bundesliga were in favor of abolishing the claim again.
Borussia Dortmund’s managing director Hans-Joachim Watzke had said that the term was too aloof for him. As Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the German Football League, Watzke is also a member of the DFB Executive Committee.