For a long time, DFB director Oliver Bierhoff staunchly defended that marketing slogan “DieTeam”, which was like a red rag to many fans. In the discussion about abolition, Bierhoff is now also moving away from the designation.
In the debate about the controversial term “The Team” for the German football selection, DFB director Oliver Bierhoff has shown himself open to a critical discussion. In an interview with the news magazine “Der Spiegel”, Bierhoff indicated that he would also accept a waiver of the term should the leadership of the German Football Association decide to do so.
The 1996 European champion pointed out that the majority of fans would have a positive attitude towards the label, “especially young football fans”, as market research had shown. “But if the DFB Presidium decides otherwise despite factual arguments, I can live with that,” said Bierhoff.
Oliver Bierhoff: “The term ‘The Team’ polarizes”
“The term ‘The Team’ is polarizing, I know that. But there must be factual reasons to abolish it, not just emotional ones,” explained the 54-year-old. The term has been analyzed and will be done again. “If there are good arguments against it, we will not ignore them,” said Bierhoff.
Borussia Dortmund’s managing director Hans-Joachim Watzke had spoken out in favor of abolishing the designation. “This term is too aloof for me,” Watzke told the “Spiegel” in January. Watzke is Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the German Football League and is therefore also a member of the DFB Executive Committee.
Record international player Lothar Matthäus also advocated abolition. The 61-year-old told “Bild” that “The Team” normally stands for a unit. “Germany was recently neither on the field with the disappointing tournament performances, nor in the association. New paths are now being taken at all levels. That’s why it would be good to invent a new name, to bring in freshness.”