Saturday, 5 April 2014
Bayern Munich ban two British tabloids over 'insulting' headlines
(CNN) -- Germany football star Bastian Schweinsteiger woke up to headlines of "You Schwein" and "You Dirty Schwein" on Wednesday.
Football matches between German and English have always been cannon fodder for Britain's red-top tabloids and The Sun and The Daily Mirror -- which have built their reputation on the use of puns in headlines -- duly went to town after a major European game.
Their banner headlines -- The Sun went for "You Schwein" while The Daily Mirror had "You Dirty Schwein" -- were a reference to the red card awarded to Schweinsteiger, who was playing for Bayern Munich in a European Champions League first-leg tie against Manchester United on Tuesday -- after he fouled England star Wayne Rooney.
But the two tabloids, who rely heavily on sport coverage to attract readers, have paid a price for their puns.
In German, schwein literally means pig, but in everyday language in Germany it's used as insult and Germans view it as a derogatory term.
Outraged by the headlines, Bayern have banned the two newspapers from attending Wednesday's second-leg match at the club's Allianz Arena stadium.
The reigning German and European champions described the headlines as "disrespectful, discriminatory and personally insulting" in an official statement.
"Especially in the Champions League where UEFA has organized a big campaign called 'RESPECT' where all players are required to wear that logo on their shirts," added the club.
"Therefore representatives of 'The Daily Mirror' and 'The Sun' will not be granted media accreditation at the Allianz Arena for the Manchester United match."
The Daily Mirror declined to comment when contacted by CNN, while The Sun said: "We're currently talking to Bayern Munich."
It's the latest example of British tabloids aiming misguided barbs towards Germany.
Ahead of a European Championships semifinal between England and Germany in 1996, The Mirror's front page declared "Achtung! Surrender" next to pictures of English players wearing World War II helmets.
An editorial in the paper read as a mock declaration of war.
While Bayern punished the two British clubs, the German club has confirmed it has accepted its own punishment handed out by European football's governing body UEFA after their fans displayed a homophobic banner during a match against Arsenal.
As a result, a part of the Allianz Arena will be closed for the match on April 9.
"Due to breaching this agreement when four attendees at our game with Arsenal showed a disrespectful banner in the Allianz Arena, 700 fans will now be locked out (for the United game) and we were fined €10,000," added Bayern in their statement. "We have accepted this."
Tuesday's game finished 1-1, leaving Champions League holders Bayern as favorites to reach the semifinals.