Qatar World Cup: Naked Football Match Organiser 'Euphoric' After Game Steals Spotlight Online

© REUTERS / Leon Kuegeler Germany's naked football team, pictured taking part in a match against the Netherlands in 2020
Germany's naked football team, pictured taking part in a match against the Netherlands in 2020 - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.09.2021
A naked football match in protest against the Qatar World Cup 2022 was held on Saturday, with the contestants from Germany participating under the pun name Nacktionalmannschaft [a play on the German words for "nude" and "national"] and wearing nothing but boots and socks.
Filmmaker Gerrit Starczewski, who took part in the organisation of a naked football match in protest against the World Cup in Qatar, said he was "euphoric" after the game managed to attract the attention of netizens and the press in several countries.

"The love and encouragement that still spills over here through the game is a balm for the repeatedly beaten Pottoriginale soul", Starczewski said. "With you by our side, the project is unbreakable".

The project's goal, according to the filmmaker, is to "take a stand against the DFB [German Football Association], the 2022 World Cup and against body-shaming". Starczewski also noted that there are more matches to come, urging people to "save the date 9.10".
The Saturday match involved two teams - Starczewski's "Pottoriginale Allstars" and the "Nacktionalmannschaft" team. The latter is a pun on the words "naked" and "national" in German, which is appropriate for a team audacious enough to only wear boots and socks during a game.
Their rivals also contributed to the nudity of the World Cup protest, taking a topless photo of the team with everyone having a letter on their backs, combined into the words "Boycott Qatar 22". During the game, however, the team wore white jerseys and shorts. The match ended in an 8-8 draw.
This is not the first naked football match, as Starczewski has organised similar games in order to draw attention to what he views as football-related issues like the commercialisation of the professional sport and an excess of foreign investors. According to the filmmaker, football is a game for "fans and [the] working class", "not for the elite".
The 2022 World Cup, which sparked the naked protest, is set to take place in Qatar from 21 November to 18 December next year. 32 nations will compete for the championship title in "the most prestigious tournament in the world". The cities of Doha, Al Wakrah, and Al Khor are expected to host the matches.
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