Explosive office talk

Photo taken from http://www.stefangroenveld.de/. ©Stefan Groenveld.

There is fun to be had, and important statements to be made. Even in the sixth tier of German football.

It is not strictly about having fun, but the TeBe Berlin fans’ “Bürotechnik ist kein Verbrechen”(Office technique isn’t a crime) campaign is taking a light hearted approach to what is regarded as a serious issue by many German Ultra groups. The German word “Bürotechnik” rhymes with “Pyrotechnik”(when pronounced in German).

The score board at the Mommsenstadion showing the club's support for the Bürotechnik initiative.

TeBe fan Kevin Kühnert said in an interview in the latest issue of the German football magazine 11 Freunde that the fans are using office supplies to make noise at the games, in order to liven up the atmosphere in their otherwise boring 6th tier everyday life. Folders and staplers are amongst this Ultra group’s favorite noise makers, and liven up the games of the Berlin team. The group in favor of pyrotechnics have even introduced its own dress code, dressing like most people who work at offices in a suit and tie. The fans initiative has yielded results, and their favorite club TeBe Berlin is now supporting their cause.

Many German Ultra groups have protested in the recent past because the DFB isn’t allowing them to use pyrotechnical effects at games.

A group of Hannover Ultras protest the ban of pyrotechnics during the match between Hannover and Werder Bremen last year.

The DFB isn’t listening

One of the main complaints leveled by many Ultra groups is directed towards the DFB’s and the DFL’s unwillingness to negotiate with the fans in order to come an agreement that both sides can live with. Theo Zwanziger told the German press that pyrotechnics are “endangering the body and the life of human beings” after Dynamo Dresden’s fans had lit pyrotechnical effects during the teams away match in the cup against Dortmund. The German football association outlawed all use of pyrotechnic at football matches only one day after the DFB Pokal match between Dortmund and Dresden.

Zwanziger went on saying that the existing laws in Germany wouldn’t allow the DFB to permit the usage of pyrotechnic at football matches.

The German magazine Spiegel revealed 8 days after the incidents in Dortmund that the DFB had negotiated with a number of Ultra groups, promising them to have pilot projects to test the controlled use of pyrotechnics in German stadiums.

Kevin Grosskreutz supports the Ultras cause.

Kevin Grosskreutz in favour of pyrotechnic

Borussia Dortmund star Kevin Grosskreutz was asked about pyrotechnics by SportBild, and came out in favor:

“My suggestion would be, let the fans use them once a month, with the official blessing from the club. Assign one area of the stadium for this purpose, and see what happens.”

The BVB youngster pointed out that tossing the pyrotechnical equipment on the pitch should be off limits.

Many thanks to Stefan Groenveld for letting us use his picture. You can check out his website here, and take a look at his work there.

Feel free to leave a comment.

The following two tabs change content below.

Niklas Wildhagen

Niklas is a 33-year-old football writer and podcaster who has been following the Bundesliga and German football since the early 90s. You can follow him on Twitter, @normusings, and listen to his opinions on @TalkingFussball.

1 Comment

  1. Kevin Grosskreutz in favour of pyrotechnics? That’s like David Cameron coming out in favour of a measure that would debilitate the British economy.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.