Shaming: provocative lyrics circulate among handball fans

Shaming: provocative lyrics circulate among handball fans

It was a handball thriller on 9. February evening in marktsteft. The men of SV michelfeld defeated TSV marktsteft 19:18 in the derby of the upper district league. The winning goal came in the last second of the game. But the sporting aspects of the evening have been pushed into the background weeks later, since it became known what happened that evening on the sidelines of the game.

A resident of michelfeld has now made the incident public – something both clubs concerned would have preferred to avoid. The lady has contacted this editorial office and told about a double-sided note with song verses that circulated among spectators during that handball game. It is no longer possible to determine how many copies were in circulation, but according to information from the editorial team, there must have been well over 50. Weeks later, a copy landed in the mailbox of said woman from michelfeld.

Contents of the lyrics forbid to quote them

Passages of the lyrics are a far cry from what is often heard as the chanting of team sports fans. The content forbids quoting from it. There are openly sexist and misogynistic verses among them, others demutigen sweepingly the residents markstefts. At one point there is talk of slashed bodies with knives in their bellies.

It is unknown from whose pen the verses originated. The note is overwritten with "ultras". Since the texts are directed exclusively against marktsteft, they suggest that their authors come from the michelfeld fan block. To the knowledge of this editorial office, there is no proof of this. What makes the matter even more explosive: as several witnesses confirm, the notes were lying around openly on seats after the game – within reach of children and young people – and were allegedly already lying on a pile at the cash desk before the game, for everyone to take away. With one exception, everyone the editors spoke to is sure that the songs were not sung in the hall, which was filled with up to 500 spectators – at least not that, one might add.

The perpetrator is threatened with a ban from the hall – should he be transferred

The chairman of the host club SV michelfeld, harald dennerlein, can be heard on the phone that he would have preferred that all this had never happened. He himself only found out about it two weeks later, he reports, and then clearly distanced himself from the playbill with the entire board of directors. If the person responsible was found to be a member of SV michelfeld, he was immediately thrown out of the club and banned from the hall, the chairman makes clear.

Dennerlein cannot imagine with the best will in the world who has written and distributed the texts. There are so-called ultras in the michelfeld fan block – about 100 strong – but they have clearly distanced themselves from the note distributed in their name and made this clear in an openly published letter.

"We do not need such a crap." thomas reichert, mayor of marktsteft

"Actually handball is known for fighting on the field and the players shaking hands afterwards", says gunter thorwarth. The chairman of the defamed TV marktsteft, looking back on that evening, remembers a "very nice, fair game" – as far as sporting rivalry is concerned. The poison that the song gives to the relationship between the two teams and their fans does not fit in at all. Thorwarth sees the SV michelfeld in the duty to have his fans under control and not simply to sit out the incident. "Possibly something slipped out of the hands of the SV", he suspects. Five weeks after the incident, both club boards had exchanged views on the matter. It should be noted that thorwarth is not interested in digging a rift between the two neighboring clubs in this situation. "We have worked well together over the last few years", he says. Despite sporting rivalry.

Mayor: clubs must keep an eye on their fans

Marktsteft's mayor thomas reichert is clear about the matter: "we don't need this kind of crap." he used to play handball himself, but never heard of such incidents before. He is sure that no handball players from michelfeld or marktsteft are behind it. The city council dealt with the issue after both clubs approached the city. "The SV michelfeld has apologized for this", says reichert. The city council agreed that both clubs should find a way to deal with the matter "and not let it destroy them". As mayor, however, he had pointed out to both clubs that they had to keep their eyes open and that as tenants of the sports hall, which belongs to the city, they also had a responsibility for the behavior of the fans.

The question remains why the incident was kept under wraps as long as it was, especially since, according to SV chairman dennerlein, copies of the song had also been put in several mailboxes of residents of marktsteft after the game; especially older people had felt personally attacked by it. Dennerlein explains the silence of his association with the advice of a lawyer, which one had caught up. He advised the SV michelfeld to remain calm, not to cause any more fuss and not – as the club had considered – to distribute its own flyer with which the club wanted to publicly distance itself from the incident.

"Such a thing has not been known in handball up to now." georg clarke, president of the bavarian handball association

This tactic probably contributed to the fact that the police did not know about the note until the inquiry of this editorial office. In such cases, gerhard klebrig of the kitzingen police appeals to the civil courage of every individual to at least report such incidents to the police, which does not necessarily mean filing a report. In the present case (sticky: "an unpleasant story"), the distributed text could fulfill the offense of a notification, estimates sticky. A club has – in general – as host of such a game the house right and thus a responsibility for acts of its visitors, the police officer clarifies.

Bavarian handball association is informed and reviews the case

For a few days now, the bavarian handball association (BHV) in munich has also been informed about the incident in marktsteft. He condemns any form of discrimination, glorification of violence or sexism, he says in a general written answer to this editorial office. On request BHV president georg clarke becomes more concrete. He speaks of the first such case in bavaria and of clear violations of the basic principles of the BHV. He had asked colleagues all over the country: "this kind of thing has never been seen in handball before."

According to clarke, the BHV will review the case in accordance with its own statutes, hear witnesses and request statements from both associations. By the end of may, he estimates, the sports court should have decided on the possible responsibility of the SV michelfeld and possible consequences for it, such as a fine. Clarke advocates for the most rigorous approach possible, also to emphasize that BHV has zero tolerance for such misconduct.

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