Martin Hinteregger distances himself from right-wing extremists
Ein football festival for fans and friends. This is exactly what the “Hinti-Cup” in Carinthia is supposed to be, planned for four days from June 16th to 19th. Location: Albeck Castle, pearl of the Gurktal, in Martin Hintereggers Austrian home village of Sirnitz. 277 people live there. Everyone knows everyone. And of course the Eintracht professional Hinteregger also knows Heinrich Sickl.
Hinteregger had business dealings with him until Thursday. Together with a restaurateur, the duo founded “Hinti Event GmbH” and planned the tournament where “we want to celebrate my two worlds, my two hearts in Sirnitz. We’re all spending a casual and unprecedented weekend dedicated to football, the best music and international solidarity,” Hinteregger writes on the Event home page.
Research from Austria
“Casual”, cool and exuberant? Hardly, because the anger is huge. Research by the Austrian journalist Michael Bonvalot have revealed: Hinteregger’s business partner Sickl is said to be a “very well-known face of the Austrian right-wing scene”. Accordingly, Sickl is said to have had connections to the extreme right milieu in his youth.
According to research, the former Graz FPÖ municipal councilor has shown himself to be a supporter of the new right-wing Identitarian movement in recent years. Sickl is also said to be chairman of the “Free Association of Academics” together with the right-wing extremist “Institute for State Policy”. Goetz Kubitscheka central figure of the New Right, have organized events.
Hinteregger distances himself
Hinteregger commented on the involvement on Instagram on Thursday. “I have no knowledge of past or future activities on the part of the Sickl family,” said the 29-year-old Frankfurt defender. “I just want to have a football tournament and nothing more. Any business relationship with the Sickl family will be terminated with immediate effect based on the current state of knowledge, and the Hinti Cup event will be examined as an alternative in order to clarify a further course of action. I have friends all over the world, both in professional football and in my private life, and I firmly reject accusations that I am right-wing and continue to stand up against any form of discrimination.”
Eintracht Frankfurt released a statement earlier in the evening. Those responsible for the club have not been able to reach Hinteregger and have only been able to exchange information with his advisor. “In this respect, only the reference to the player’s statement via Instagram remains at the moment,” it said. The club distanced itself: Eintracht Frankfurt had no knowledge of “the content and form of Martin Hinteregger’s business relationship in connection with the so-called Hinti Cup.”
Eintracht wrote: “The business and social proximity to a representative of the right-wing political spectrum in Austria requires clear distancing”. At the same time, the club pointed out that he had no doubts that Hinteregger was a cosmopolitan and tolerant character who was alien to discrimination. In such a situation, however, there should be “no compromises, especially not on the backs of the fans who, in good faith, wanted to travel to Sirnitz to play a football tournament and now run the risk of being involuntarily drawn into a debate on their position simply by taking part will.”
Irritating interview by Hinteregger in Austria
It’s not the first time that the 67-time national player Hinteregger has come into focus off the pitch. Hinteregger is a multifaceted personality. At Eintracht he has become a crowd favorite because he is who he is. One with corners and edges. Someone who says what he thinks and always offends.
The defender was recently quoted as saying that “a lot” had “broken into pieces” because Eintracht had suggested to him in the fall and before the Europa League game against Barcelona that he leave the club in the summer. This statement in the tabloid “Kronen-Zeitung” irritated the club because meanwhile and after a long conversation with coach Oliver Glasner it was already clear that Hinteregger would very well play a role in Frankfurt next year.
Hinteregger is not a perfect football professional like teammate Makoto Hasebe. He comes home from vacation clearly overweight and uses the days off to fly helicopters against agreements. In his autobiography he describes how he suffered from depression at times and how he sometimes had to break out of the constraints of profit in order to be able to withstand them in the long run. The “Hinti Cup” may be good for that – the choice of his business partner was not.