“Impossible and inhumane”

Ball in the net © Nick Potts

Soccer and stadium priest Eugen Eckert sharply criticizes ex-national goalkeeper Oliver Kahn. Whose reaction to Karius' slip-up would have been too harsh. In general, he said, a better approach to foul play is desirable.

In an interview with the "Neue Osnabrucker Zeitung," 64-year-old soccer pastor Eugen Eckert criticized former national goalkeeper Oliver Kahn. The way he criticized Loris Karius for his blunder after the Champions League final between Madrid and Liverpool, I don't think that goes at all.

Someone who even in a World Cup final the ball has slipped through the hands, can not make such a harsh judgment," said the 64-year-old on Saturday. This had been "impossible and inhumane".

"Treat others the way you want to be treated by them"

The speaker of the Protestant Church in Germany (EKD) for "Church and Sport" also explained that he would like to see a different way of dealing with foul play, especially in soccer. "I often observe players who drive their professional colleagues to their knees in such a way – and then act as if nothing had happened," said the stadium priest at Eintracht Frankfurt.

Here he would like to see an apologetic attitude. "In the church, we know this attitude as Jesus' 'golden rule': treat others as you would want them to treat you."

"Society is so brutal that it always hits where it finds weaknesses"

Eckert is available to offer pastoral advice not only to staff but also to footballers. "Before my time at Eintracht, I also had to deal with homosexual players.

A topic that continues to be taboo. I have spoken to the professionals about this – and advised them not to come out until after their careers at the earliest if they do not want to risk being humiliated by the spectators. Our society is so brutal that it always hits where it finds weaknesses."

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