The capital city knows a thing or two about big footballing occasions. Yet another comes today – the 75th DFB-Pokal final between Bayern Munich and Eintracht Frankfurt (KO 20:00 CEST). Berlin’s Olympiastadion is used to hosting big events. It held another at the end of March, when two world champions met.
“United By Football” was written out to be seen across the stands of the Olympiastadion shortly before the showdown between Germany and Brazil. More than 70,000 spectators took part in the one-of-a-kind choreography, which sent out to the whole world the official motto of Germany’s application to host the UEFA EURO 2024 tournament. It was a strong signal that German football, the national team and the fans stand united behind the application. Berlin is one of the ten host cities the DFB included in its application to UEFA to host the European competition.
Around 70 volunteers from the national team’s fan club helped with preparations in the Olympiastadion all day long. To thank them for their extraordinary engagement, the world champions stopped by in person. Philipp Lahm, who won the DFB-Pokal six times with Bayern Munich in the stadium, took time for the volunteers and explained his impressive community work. The honorary team captain wants to make sure that Germany can host one last Euro tournament. The most recent took place in 1988, before the reunification of East and West Germany. “It’s an excellent idea,” said Lahm enthusiastically. “The entire stadium is involved in the application. It’s impressive how many people are working here the whole day in order to make the choreo perfect.”
The choreography was huge and so was the bid book. When DFB president Reinhard Grindel, general secretary Dr. Friedrich Curtius, ambassador Lahm and European champion and DFB integration ambassador Celia Sasic handed over the application documents in the FIFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland at the end of April, they had a lot of responsibility to carry because they were handing in an application for the entirety of German football, from the top level right down to the grass roots. Heavier than the responsibility, however, was the official application book. The bid book is 868 pages long along with a 760-page appendix with many messages of support from representatives from the worlds of sport, politics and economics. In total, it weighted a proud 8.65 kilograms. Furthermore, the DFB delegation delivered a comprehensive sustainability plan for the tournament, which is not required by UEFA, but was compiled by the DFB with the involvement of many stakeholders from many fields. The DFB’s application is supported amongst other by the German government.
World Cup winner Lahm, who will also be in attendance at the Olympiastadion today, is hoping for another full stadium and a great atmosphere across the entire country. He says: “I was at the 2006 World Cup as a player. I’m certain that there would be a similar feeling of excitement and solidarity at UEFA EURO 2024. Football is what we live for. I know that EURO 2024 will be a great footballing event for everyone in Europe – we’re ‘United By Football’!” UEFA will decide the EURO 2024 host nation on 27th September 2018.