Sun and Mirror denied after calling Schweinsteiger a “pig”

While @MirrorFootball ‘s Twitter byline says: “We’ll Tweet what we want / We’ll Tweet what we want / We’re @MirrorFootball / And we’ll Tweet what we want”, they, along with the Sun, won’t be doing any tweeting or reporting from Bayern Munich’s second-leg Champions League encounter with Manchester United on Wednesdayas both English rags have been denied credentials at the Allianz Arena for their horrid headlines regarding Bastian Schweinsteiger after the first tie.

“You Schwein!” headlined the Sun, while the Mirror took it one step further, saying, “You Dirty Schwein!” in regards to Schweinsteiger’s second “bookable” offense with a “tackle” on Wayne Rooney.  Much conjecture about the event in the 90th minute has been made.  With Rooney saying, “If I didn’t get out of the way, he could have hurt me.”

Ah!  But, Wayne!  You did it in such a spectacular fashion!  Olympic-worthy, for sure.

Whether, or whether not, it would have been called a foul is also a matter for debate– such was the unevenness of Carlos Caballo’s refereeing on the day.  But, as it stands– it’s neither here-nor-there as Schweinsteiger misses the second leg.

From the official press release:  “Following the UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg between Manchester United and FC Bayern Muenchen last Tuesday, 1 April 2014, UK media the Daily Mirror and The Sun published disrespectful, discriminatory and personally insulting ‘reports’ about our player Bastian Schweinsteiger. This is unacceptable to FC Bayern Muenchen and the club strongly condemns reporting of this nature.”

The last name “Schweinsteiger”, translated in to English, means “pig overseer (or climber)” which relates to a history of farming from his Bavarian roots.  Not “pig f**ker”, which was so blithely used by so many UK supporters back when the talented midfielder was debuting on the international scene.  And perhaps this is where this ban comes from.

Bayern Munich, and their director of media, Markus Hoerwick, have long been notorious for taking a very hard line on press credentials, in general.  But then the ante gets upped by a personal insult against a company–and fan– favorite.  It’s the only thing Bayern could do.  And rightly so.

While as a writer I do highly appreciate the first Amendment here in the United States, but this move doesn’t prevent either the Sun, or the Mirror, from saying what they want to say.  They just won’t have the luxury of doing it from inside the Allianz Arena.

“Mia san Mia”.  We are who we are.  And while that may come off as arrogance to some, what Bayern Munich is is a family– albeit, a very large one.  It shouldn’t surprise anyone to see them circling the wagons here over their beloved vice-captain, as they have done with other players and staff in the past before.

Lest someone undervalues the importance of Schweinsteiger to this side, when the roll calls for the starting XI are announced by Stephan Lehmann– spreading out around the Allianz Arena in his dulcet tones– when he says “Bastian” the 71,000 faithful reply: “Schweinsteiger– Fussballgott!”  Yes, football god.  No other Bayern player receives that accolade.  Not Franck Ribery, not captain Philipp Lahm, not Arjen Robben, not Thomas Mueller.  No one.

Perhaps the Germans have no sense of humour– as has been widely touted– or perhaps the two tabloids might have given some deeper thought in to what they were printing.  It’s not exactly a pun when you call someone a “pig”, regardless of whether the word is in their last name or not.

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Susie Schaaf

Susie Schaaf first fell in love with football watching Gerd Mueller play for the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. She has written extensively about the DFB and Bayern Munich, formerly for ESPN FC and now with FC Bayern Central. She co-hosts @Rekord_Pod, as well as speaking on SiriusXM FC and BBC World Service. In her free time she travels, pours a drink or two, and watches more football. The girl that kissed Gerd's Golden Boot can be found on Twitter @fussballsusie.

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