After Soccer Match Cancellation: Why are German Netizens Mocking the Responsible Politicians?

After Soccer Match Cancellation

Why are German Netizens Mocking the Responsible Politicians?

Because of solid intel that a terror attack might have taken place, a soccer match was canceled in Germany,yet German netizens are joking about it.

Another dark cloud over a friendly match: The German team was supposed to play the Netherlands in the city of Hannover just days after the game in Paris during which three bombs were detonated in front of the stadium. However, this time the game was canceled due to security risks. The game was supposed to take place in spite of the Paris attacks and was supposed to show that Europeans would continue to attend big events in spite of terrorist attacks.

Contrary to the good intentions, it all turned out differently. About 90 minutes before it was due to start, the friendly match was canceled because of security reasons. People in Hannover were asked to go home and not to panic. Surprisingly, telling the soccer fans to remain calm worked out. No one panicked, indeed.

Still, as usual when there is an important soccer game, #GERNED was trending that night on Twitter. The Germany-Netherlands tweets had little to do with soccer though. Most of them referred to a statement Thomas de Maizière, Minister of the Interior, made in a press conference after the game was canceled. The minister did not want to give away any details about the nature of the suspected danger surrounding the game in order to keep the sources safe.
Thomas de Maizière said his answers to the journalist’s questions would partially be “unsettling for the (German) citizens”.

A statement that stuck. Less because of the shock value (although that probably also played a role), but more because of the evasiveness. Many Twitter users turned to mocking the statement:

Samira El Ouassil tweeted:

“Mama, where do the babies come from?”
“The answers could partially be unsettling to you”
#DontLikeDeMaiziere #GERNED

Jolly Psychopathic, another netizen, wrote:

“Will the world end?”
“The answer would partially be unsettling to you. That is why I am not saying anything.”

The day after the canceled game another hashtag is trending on German Twitter: #DoItLikeDeMaiziere. Under this hashtag the netizens post more jokes using the minister’s line. Mark T. Drexler is among those: He posted a picture with Merkel and Putin shaking hands on which the German chancellor asks Putin:

“Well, what is your attitude towards the red button, vodka, and nuclear missiles?”
Putin responds: “My answers would partially be unsettling for you!”

The netizen who posted it comments:
“That guy has to go to the soft skill school again.”

Tagesspiegel Screenshot 18.11.2015
Tagesspiegel Screenshot 18.11.2015

And another netizen comments on a news article about de Maizière’s statement:


I want the sovereign people to find out what is going on! Wouldn’t that be something, if I had screwed something up and my boss demanded an explanation, and I [just] said “Sorry, boss, that would just be unsettling for you…”.

(…) ich will, dass das Volk als Souverän erfährt, was Sache ist! Wäre auch super, wenn ich etwas verbockt hätte, mein Chef mich zur Rede stellen würde und ich ihm sagte ‘entschuldige Chef, das würde sie echt nur verunsichern…’.

Some however did agree with how the officials handled the situation. Twitter user Catharina Wölfel for example wrote:

“I think it is sad, pathetic, and embarrassing that the people in charge have to justify their decisions now.”

Twitter Screenshot 17.11.2015
Twitter Screenshot 17.11.2015

Indeed, the cancellation of the soccer match gave the German public a sense of how close the terror is to Germany, but many have not lost their humor over it. Maybe in that sense it is good that the German public is left in the dark. If they knew, they might not view it as a laughing matter anymore.

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