From the ritual of handing over the jersey: Sacred shirts

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Written By Maya Cantina

Why is it that even coaches now ceremoniously receive a jersey when they take office? And what should politicians actually do with textiles?

Hansi Flick with a sweater.

Coach Hansi Flick with his Barcelona jersey Photo: FC Barcelona/dpa

It’s time for change in football. Club presidents present their purchases and hand them a freshly flocked shirt with the player’s name. Photos of Kylian Mbappé, whose move from Paris Saint-Germain (“the club of my heart”) to Real Madrid (“my favorite club”) was finally confirmed, were already circulating, showing him in the Real shirt – long before he got a shirt. the real shirt was presented to the Royal. Technology makes it possible. Other jersey transfers actually took place and were documented photographically, without the intervention of artificial intelligence. Yet the images raise questions.

Why has it become common to greet new coaches with a ceremonial jersey handover, as if they were kicking the ball themselves? FC Barcelona has just given its new coach a shirt with his name printed on it. He proudly showed it to the cameras, probably to convince the last doubters that Hansi Flick will really work for the great Catalan club from now on. José Mourinho was also presented with a club jersey when he was introduced as the new coach of Fenerbahçe Istanbul. He held it up proudly and said, “This sweater is my skin.” What someone you call ‘the special one’ simply says.

There are also transfers of political jerseys. The case of Mesut Özil shows that these can have far-reaching consequences. As is known, he was expelled from the German football country after he presented Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan with an Arsenal FC shirt. The Manchester City shirt that İlkay Gündoğan presented to Erdoğan on the same occasion was largely inconsequential. Gündoğan lashed out at Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, promised to improve and is now captain of the national team.

It is not known where Erdoğan keeps the jerseys entrusted to him in his presidential palace. At least the camisoles are good for showing off. Erdoğan could certainly bring her out if he wants to show someone who he has already met.

Blood red textile from Belarus

But what does a politician do when someone gives him the Belarusian national team as a gift? Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó is currently dealing with this problem. He traveled to Minsk last week to discuss with his colleague there how nuclear power plants of Russian origin can be made operational.

He was not bothered by the fact that Belarus has been largely diplomatically isolated from the EU since the country-backed attack on Ukraine. And when he received the jersey, he smiled obediently, as if it were normal to be happy with a jersey of the Belarusian national team, which is ranked 96th in the FIFA world rankings.

The fact that Lukashenko’s footballers are allowed to participate in official matches at all, unlike Russia, can safely be described as a scandal. Vikor Orbán’s Minister of Foreign Affairs probably has no problem with this. So we hope you have fun with the blood-red textiles!

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