This year, we will forego this typing of reporting across all TSG media.
Numerous articles have already been composed, commentaries written, films shot and books printed about the merits and dangers of holding a World Cup in Qatar, a country of 2.8 million inhabitants – of whom 90% are migrant workers from Asia. They tackle the dubious circumstances of the award process, the catastrophic conditions on the stadium construction sites, the damaging impact on the climate, and the framework conditions required to hold an event like this in the desert at this unusual time. The main focus, however, is on the human rights violations and discrimination against homosexuals in the autocratic Gulf state. To summarise all the details here would extend beyond the scope of this article and is not necessary either.
But all these elements lead us to the conclusion that we simply do not want to cover this World Cup (20 November-18 December) in a light-hearted way. It needs to put clearly into context with an assessment of the surrounding circumstances and a commentary of the latest developments. We believe a purely sporting coverage focusing solely on goals and performances without looking at the conditions in which this so-called festival of football is taking place is out of the question.
However, we cannot provide this urgently required analytical commentary contextualising the sporting events many thousands of kilometres away from the venue. Several hundred accredited journalists will present their impressions on the ground in various formats and media, thus doing an important job of putting the football matches at this World Cup – and all its noteworthy aspects – into context.
We at the TSG media department will use the time to develop new formats, revise established ones and update you on events at the club, where a lot will be happening during the World Cup. As well as head coach André Breitenreiter's senior squad, we will also cover the Bundesliga matches of the women's first and second teams as well as the U19 and U17 junior teams.