Sunday 5 December 2021
Because of the Olympic boycott
DOSB’s new chief challenges Barbock
In an interview with Taz, German Foreign Minister-designate Annalena Barbock raised the issue of boycotting the Olympic Games. New DOSB chief Thomas Weikert doesn’t like it at all. “She just has to leave the church in the village,” he said after being elected.
Thomas Wickert, the new president of the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB), has criticized designated Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Birbock for her statement about a possible boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics. “Mrs. Baerbock should leave the church in the village, I will say it very clearly,” Weikert said on Saturday after his election: “The boycott has never helped anyone. It would be really unfair to the athletes who are now like that who have prepared for so long.”
Last week, in an interview with Taz, Green Party leader Barbuk touched on the boycott issue. “When I see how the Chinese leadership deals with tennis player Peng Shuai or with arrested citizen journalist Zhang Zhan, we must of course take a closer look at the Olympic Games. There are different ways for governments to deal with it in the coming weeks that will certainly be discussed.”
According to Weckert, DOSB will “put itself within our means” at the Winter Games (February 4-20). At the press conference following the general meeting in Weimar on Saturday, the former president of the World Table Tennis Federation himself clearly criticized the human rights situation in China. “Since 2008 (Beijing Summer Games / D. Red), many have believed that the Olympics will improve something in the human rights situation. The truth is: nothing has improved. It may have gotten worse, which is very unfortunate,” Weikert said.
Weckert made a similar statement regarding the FIFA World Cup in Qatar next year. “The World Cup has been awarded to Qatar,” the 60-year-old said. “I don’t think this is an ideal place either. You should react the same way you did to China: point out the injuries.” As far as I know, the bail system is still in place, even if no one wants to admit it, and the injuries are still there.” In this case, too, Weikert doesn’t think much about the boycott: “The boycott didn’t help anyone. That’s why you shouldn’t interrupt there either, but go there and try to change.”