Opinion: Soccer, Sex Workers and the Single Male | World Cup 2006 | DW | 06.01.2006
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World Cup 2006

Opinion: Soccer, Sex Workers and the Single Male

It's World Cup year, if you haven't yet noticed, and thousands of fans will be coming to Germany this summer to enjoy the ups and downs of the world's premier soccer tournament. Some may even watch some games too.

Ball control will be important for both fans and players alike come the World Cup

Ball control will be important for both fans and players alike come the World Cup

Soccer -- as we’re all repeatedly told -- is the beautiful game. And a simple one at that. You’ve got two teams, usually, with eleven ugly men either side. They spend 90 minutes or so, kicking a ball around. And, in the end, Germany always wins. Or so the saying goes. A simple game made for men.

So what has Heidi Klum got to do with it all? The German supermodel is a woman, right?! Well, it turns out that next year’s World Cup is all about women. It’s a simple matter of business.

Ms Klum is just about Germany’s best export. She‘s the classic Teutonic bride. She’s bigger than cars, and better than sex. Small wonder, given that she was once heard suggesting, in a coquettish voice, at a photo shoot that “these panties should be smaller, don’t you think?” Yes, dear. So, you get Ms Klum reeling in the punters to an event that could either be a further financial defeat for Germany or its remaking.

It stands to reason then that Ms Klum was invited to Leipzig to co-host the draw of the World Cup’s first matches. Her dress was a mess, but Ms Klum was definitely all there -- all star and all woman. Women being a commodity in short supply these days.

Yes, that’s right: short supply. But there’s no need to fear. Back-up is on the way. In fact, Germany expects to be awash with sex workers from eastern Europe. The cheek of it, I hear you say, economic migrants trying to cash in on one hell of a cash cow.

Sex expected to be big business at the World Cup

Prostitution in Tschechien Nachtclub

Just like Ronaldinho, you too can look forward to scoring at the World Cup

Well, get used to it. It’s estimated there’ll be an extra 40,000 sex workers at hand come June 2006, when the games get underway. Add that number to the 400,000 sex workers already in Germany, and then divide that by the number of football fans expected -- subtracting, of course, women and children first -- and you get ... another number. Well, you get the picture.

That’s a lot of business. And it’s got women’s groups at each other’s throats. In Berlin, an advice center for sex workers is estimating a massive turnover. While another organization, the national council for women, is calling on soccer players to act as role models to discourage other men from the practice. It’s now goalkeeper Oliver Kahn’s job to explain that real men don’t support the sex trade.

Real men obviously being the sort to drool over supermodels like Heidi Klum, while her husband, the musician, Seal, wails from the terraces at the opening ceremony, no doubt.

Enough to go round?

Warten auf Kundschaft

Form an orderly queue, boys

But there’s a far more worrying statistic. The organizers of the World Cup are saying it will create 50,000 jobs for Germany’s jobless youth. And I’m wondering whether they’ve got their sums right. I mean, deduct the 40,000 expected sex worker start-ups from the 50,000 new jobs, and that only leaves 10,000 to go around. Looks like there’ll be some very unhappy young men who’ll need to be appeased with the promise of sexual favors.

On that score Germany should come good. Because, at least for next year’s World Cup, the beautiful game just became the beauty game.

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