Sports & Politics

Researcher's view from the outside

At least superficially, Donata Hopfen embodies the usual clichés of a power woman who will succeed Christian Seifert as chairperson(s) of the German Soccer League from January 2022. The German Soccer League (DFL) was founded 21 years ago and represents the interests such as marketing, licensing and so on of the first and second German professional soccer leagues. Christian Seifert is also vice-president of the German Soccer Association (DFB). There is a basic agreement between the DFL and the DFB which regulates the respective rights and obligations. Since its foundation, the DFL has been regarded as much more efficient and has helped the professional clubs to generate considerable income, while the DFB has become entangled in scandals and is engaged in permanent trench warfare.

Christian Seifert has been managing director of DFL GmbH since 2007, and he is assisted by five directors of the various working areas. For outsiders, Seifert's retirement on 1 January 2022 came as something of a surprise, but nothing has come to light about squabbles.

Donata Hopfen (44) is a proven and determined digital expert. At Springer, she successfully advanced the digital and online business for 14 years and earned high esteem. In 2017, the mother of two moved to Verimi as CEO, a cross-industry digital platform that aims to counterbalance US digital giants with founding partners from the German DAX economy - including Daimler, Telekom and Deutsche Bank. She has been a digital consultant in Berlin since the summer of 2019, and on 1 January 2022 she will cast her brash eye on the DFL from the outside.

Style PASS finds it remarkable that a federation as male-controlled as the DFL has chosen a woman to be its chief executive, rather than post-shuffling from within. Style PASS wishes Donata Hopfen every success and hopes that her first name, derived from Latin, will indeed prove to be a "gift" for the DFL.


"The door is wide open to exploitation"

The issue of human rights in Qatar has been in the spotlight for some time: deaths on large construction sites, legal-structural discrimination against homosexuals. The issue in Qatar harkens back to a centuries-old guardianship system, the kafala, and is fuelled by the dynamics of globalisation. Style PASS spoke with Amnesty International's Qatar expert Katja Müller-Fahlbusch about the current situation in the state of the oil billionaires.


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