German olympic committee snubs esports proposal

German olympic committee snubs esports proposal

The German Olympic Sports Confederation (‘Deutsche Olympische Sportbund’, or ‘DOSB’) has snubbed an esports agreement offered by the German coalition, according to a report from The Esports Observer.

Last month, itself more than three months after the German Federal Election, the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (led by Angela Merkel) and the Social Democratic Party (with Martin Schulz at its helm) closed on a coalition, with one of the agreed topics being a recognition of esports as sports. Indeed, the coalition even sought to support esports organisations’ efforts to become an Olympic sport.

Last week, the coalition’s proposal received a formal response from the DOSB, which was published on the confederation’s website. Among the points raised was a specific highlighted quote aimed directly at the coalition’s esports pledge, which is sure to dismay parties who were optimistic of the bid’s success. A translation by TEO reads as follows:

This [the federal proposal for esports] can be understood as a clear attack by specialist politicians in the digital sector—disregarding sports politicians or even the DOSB, the umbrella organization of organized sports in Germany—against the autonomy of the sport.

In order for the coalition’s recognition of esports as a sport to actually have an impact on the industry landscape in the field of organised sports, a formal application to the DOSB will likely have to be compiled by the German Esports Association (‘eSport-Bund Deutschland’, or ‘ESBD’). The ESBD’s president, Hans Jagnow, was flummoxed by the DOSB’s statement.

“We don’t understand the criticism from the DOSB,” Jagnow said. “We welcome the political desire to put esports on the agenda of Germany’s sporting future. This is not an attack on organised sports, as esports wants to be part of the sporting organization. Like the DOSB, we see the best opportunity in having an open-ended, dialogue-based process with the associations.”

With the ESBD still gunning to get gaming on the sporting radar (and to get esports teams the tax relief that comes with sports’ not-for-profit status), it would appear there are yet more twists to this tale yet to come.

source header image: logo by DOSB

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