The German Football Association (DFB) has called for a ban on “beer showers” in case it offends players who are Muslim.
Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich, two of Germany’s most prestigious football clubs, are up in arms over the decision to ban the ritual of pouring beer over the heads of players following the DFB Cup final, Die Welt reports.
The beer shower is a longstanding tradition in German football, often involving the team’s local beer as rivalries between beer companies can be as heated as those between football teams.
Some German football stadiums have made the independent decision to voluntarily ban the practice because some players, such as Franck Ribéry, are Muslim and do not drink alcohol for religious reasons. Some stadiums accommodate by pouring non-alcoholic beer, instead.
The decision by the DFB to ban beer showers marks the first time that the governing body of German football has made such a decree to any of the clubs.
The DFB has said that the beer showers don’t fit its new ‘Action Alliance’ initiative which is designed to promote the idea that sports can be enjoyed without alcohol.
Action Alliance states that “alcohol and sport don’t mix,” claiming that over 74,000 Germans die every year from alcohol abuse or a combination of alcohol and tobacco use.
While some breweries such as Bitburger are glad that their beer will be drunk rather than poured on the ground, others are not happy with the move.
Brinkhoff’s No. 1, who sponsor both Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, say they are disappointed with the DFB calling it a “soft politically motivated decision,” and that they regret that fans will have to make do without beer at victory celebrations.
Legendary Munich brewer Paulaner was also unimpressed saying: “Beer showers are a fun ritual,” and likewise regret the decision by the DFB.
A DFB spokesman said that beer showers were always officially prohibited but the ban had never actually been enforced until now.
This isn’t the first time Borussia Dortmund has linked politics and beer. Last year the club launched a “no beer for racists” campaign. Beer mats were distributed that advertised a website attempting to counter mass migration criticism, repeating the usual left wing talking points.
Some in the German government see steps such as this, as well as removing pork from menus in schools and cafeterias, as an affront to German values and culture. In reaction to that initiative a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party said he wanted pork to be mandatory in schools rather than disappear because of political correctness.
One French lawmaker took the opposite approach saying that schools should have totally vegetarian meal plans so that they do not offend the sensibilities of Muslims. Critics have said the proposal was an attempt to get around the state secularism enshrined in French law.