English Articles
Euro 2024: Where are the 'Boycott Germany' calls?
Timo Al-Farooq
Thursday 20th of June 2024

If there is one country that should be boycotted, for its devious supporting role in facilitating the annihilation of the Palestinian people, its pro-war megalomania with regards to Ukraine, and for its dangerous shift towards the far right, it is Germany.
By the same logic with which Germans vociferously called for the boycott of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar and the 2018 edition in Russia, one would think they would also advocate boycotting UEFA Euro 2024, which kicked off last week in their own country.
But alas, what would Germanocentric discourse be without its most defining characteristic: hypocrisy. Finger-wagging, Western nations such as Germany cry the loudest about the state of human rights in the Global South, but when it comes to the abuses of power in their own neck of the woods, their silence speaks volumes.
There are far stronger reasons to justify boycotting Germany’s staging of European football’s quadrennial showcase event than there ever were to boycott Qatar one and a half years ago. Back then, under the guise of concerns for foreign worker rights, Germany’s thinly veiled Islamophobia and orientalism sought to sully the first World Cup ever to be held in the Muslim and Arab world out of nothing but white supremacist pettiness.
Not only has Euro 2024 host nation Germany been aiding and abetting "Israel’s" horrific genocide in Gaza for the last eight months as the apartheid regime’s second-largest arms supplier and its chief propagandist in continental Europe, but it has also been engaging in egregious human rights violations against members and allies of the Palestine solidarity movement within its own borders.
Arbitrary arrests, vicious police brutality, the criminalisation of dissent, state-sponsored intimidation worthy of the mafia, and ridiculously authoritarian lawfare have become the new normal in post-October 7 Germany. In simpler terms: pretty much everything German politicians and pundits accused Russia of doing in the lead up to its 2018 World Cup, Germany has also been doing since "Israel" used Hamas’s 2023 attack as a pretext to greenlight a genocide in Gaza.
What does that say about an allegedly rehabilitated Germany that thought it wise to once again be associated with fascism, genocide and racial supremacy? Should a state that pledges ironclad fealty to the Zionist invaders who have been occupying Palestine for almost eight decades and are now trying to purge the remaining Palestinians from their lands by carpet-bombing, starving and terrorising them, be allowed to host a global sports tournament?
Ironically, Germany continues to fan the flames of genocide by still selling arms to the rogue regime in Tel Aviv, by defending "Israel’s" human rights abuses at international courts, and simply by gaslighting Palestinian suffering, while the much maligned Gulf nation of Qatar is working hard to bring an end to the Israeli-orchestrated slaughter of innocent Palestinians in Gaza in its role as mediator of choice between the Zionist aggressor and the Palestinian Resistance.
In addition, Germany wouldn’t be Germany if a global football tournament wasn’t accompanied by a homegrown racism scandal: A survey commissioned by state broadcaster ARD, the same media behemoth which has been at the forefront of the country’s pro-Zionist disinformation campaign and war on Palestine solidarity, found that 21% of Germans want more white players on their national team. A team whose 26-member squad for Euro 2024 includes only eight players of colour.
Yes, German racism is so crass that it is already overwhelmed by a negligible minority of non-white players in their beloved Mannschaft. What would Germans do if their team looked like France’s Les Bleus or Switzerland’s Nati, both squads made up almost entirely of players of colour?
This scandal came on the heels of a much larger one: Just days after the world witnessed in shock the horrors of the Rafah tent massacre perpetrated by "Israel", Bundesliga heavyweight Borussia Dortmund announced that it had signed a multiyear sponsorship deal with Rheinmetall, Germany’s fifth largest arms manufacturer. According to the Stop Arming Israel campaign, Rheinmetall has heavily supplied Tel Aviv with arms and ammunitions during its genocidal war on Gaza.
How normalised militarism has become in German society in the wake of the German-backed war against Russia in Ukraine can be gauged in a statement by club president Hans-Joachim Watzke: “Security and defense are fundamental cornerstones of our democracy…Especially today, when we see every day how freedom must be defended in Europe. We should deal with this new normality.”
Is this the head of a sports club talking or a minister of defence? According to AP, Rheinmetall is building a new plant in Northern Germany to mass produce 200,000 artillery shells per year as part of the German war effort in Ukraine, calling to mind poet Paul Celan’s famous words: “Der Tod ist ein Meister aus Deutschland.” Death is a champion from Germany.
The Rheinmetall deal with Borussia Dortmund is not surprising at all, as Watzke is seemingly not only a proponent of German militarism, but also a huge fan of Apartheid "Israel". In 2022, on a visit to the Zionist entity, he told The Jerusalem Post: “For me personally, this is a very special trip. I love Israel, I love the people.”
That his beloved "Israel" and his beloved Israelis have the blood of over 37,000 Palestinians on their hands in an ongoing genocide that is routinely compared to the Nazi horrors perpetrated by his native Germany, does not seem to bother Watzke. Nor did it keep his club from going forward with a business deal inked in the blood of innocents, and which only underscores how far-reaching German complicity in the mass slaughter of Palestinians is.
If there is one country that should be boycotted, for its devious supporting role in facilitating the annihilation of the Palestinian people, its unprecedented post-October 7 crackdowns against Palestine solidarity at home, its Russophobic, pro-war megalomania with regards to Ukraine, and for its dangerous shift towards the far right following the EU elections in which the right-wing extremist AfD came in second, it is Germany.
With Strike Germany, the cultural sector has already initiated a call to boycott relevant German institutions. It is high time the same is applied to the sporting world, especially in light of how fanatic the German animus against Qatar’s staging of the World Cup was. So boycott Euro 2024, boycott Germany! And may the proverbial football gods deliver some symbolic, karmic justice for Palestinians by kicking host nation Genocide Germany out of the tournament in the group stage once again.