The German Bundesliga is showing its support for a campaign to promote integration this weekend. All 18 Bundesliga clubs play their matches with the logo of the nationwide ‘Go Your Way’ campaign on their jerseys replacing the regular sponsor logos on the chests.
The “Geh’ Deinen Weg” (Go Your Way) campaign is the second nationwide campaign by the Bundesliga after the “Mein Freund ist Ausländer” (My friend is a foreigner) campaign 20 years ago. “My friend is a foreigner” was launched as a reaction to increasing racism in Germany including a arson attack in the city of Solingen in 1992.
Germany has changed into a multi-cultural country in the last decade. More than 16 million people with an immigration background currently live in Germany and integration is one of Germany’s most fundamental challenges.
The German national team is a prime example of integration with players of immigrant background like Mesut Özil, Lukas Podolski or Mario Gomez. These players become leading forces in the “Mannschaft” and they are role models for the German youth.
The “Geh’ Deinen Weg” campaign is a call for equal opportunities and a peaceful co-existence in the heart of Europe. The campaign was initiated by the German Integration Foundation with the support of German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel.
“Germany is getting diverse. It is imperative for the cohesion of the country that we give young people from diverse descent a chance. This ‘Go Your Way’ initiative is showing xenophobia the red card,” Dr. Merkel told at a press conference.
The German Chancellor attended the Borussia Dortmund v Bayer 04 Leverkusen Bundesliga match on Saturday and she met various young immigrant background footballers from both clubs.
Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeneß has called for unity amongst all Bundesliga clubs to challenge any social and cultural problems in Germany.
“The league need to stay united to face any social problems and we need to speak the same language,” the Bayern supremo told ‘BILD’ newspaper. “The representatives of football need to take a stance against racism, xenophobia and discrimination of minority groups.”
Hoeneß also emphasised that such campaign shouldn’t be an “one-off show”.
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