Bundesliga stars form players' alliance after Covid-19 crisis
BERLIN - Some of Germany's top football players have formed an alliance in order to represent themselves more strongly when decisions are made by clubs and associations.
The alliance, which encompasses men's and women's football at various levels, features among others Borussia Dortmund's Mats Hummels, Sven Bender of Bayer Leverkusen, Neven Subotic of Union Berlin und Wolfsburg's Alexandra Popp.
"I think it's important that players get a voice - and that's beyond the Bundesliga," Hummels told German football magazine Kicker on Thursday. "Lately we've too often been passed over. That's why it's even more necessary that we can actively let our voice be heard in future," he said.
The alliance was clearly sparked by the treatment of players during the coronavirus pandemic.
"If there's a football task force, a player must sit at that table," Soeren Gonther, of second-division club Erzegbirge Aue, said. "And if a hygiene concept is discussed, players must be asked about it. It can't be allowed to be decided over our heads."
The German Football League (DFL) told dpa that it is already in contact with the alliance. "The dialogue can be worthwhile for both sides," the DFL said. "While acknowledging the fact that the players of the first and second divisions are employed by the 36 professional clubs, who as members in their entirety constitute the DFL."
Germany's Union of Contracted Footballers (VDV) welcomed the new organization. "It's our goal to strengthen further the players' rights and give active players the chance to offer their opinions more strongly," VDV vice president Carsten Ramelow told dpa.
The leaders of the new group are "largely established VDV members and in dialogue with us," Ramelow said.
"But it's important now that we carry this momentum and unite as many players as possible in the VDV."dpa