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FOX Sports removes Lothar Matthäus from World Cup coverage

Billed by FOX Sports’ World Cup producer as “one of Germany’s all-time elite players, he brings invaluable knowledge and experience to our telecasts,” legendary soccer player Lothar Matthäus has been removed from FOX Sports’ World Cup coverage without spending a single minute on set.

When FOX Sports announced their studio talent in April, Matthäus was listed first in their press release touting the star talent that would be featured in their analysis of the 2018 World Cup.

But according to Washington Post reporter Steven Goff, Matthäus has been removed from FOX broadcasts “due to schedule conflicts.” Goff added, “The split did not end well, I hear. Given the timing, it goes without saying, I guess.”

However, could FOX’s decision to dump Matthäus be a result of the German World Cup winner endorsing Morocco for the 2026 World Cup hosting? Matthäus certainly didn’t hide his support when he became an ambassador for Morocco’s bid (see video below).


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  1. Stefan Schuette

    June 27, 2018 at 12:08 am

    I was wondering why Matthaus never showed up, I was expecting him to atleast be there when Germany plays. But Matthaus is the German Maradona in that he’s consistently controversial, but also consistently “around”, he won’t go away. He seems to have mellowed out a little in his old age, but I guess he’s still too controversial.

  2. Grioir

    June 21, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    My (German) wife reports that Matthaus made a few controversial statements in the German media after the Mexico match to the effect of “Ozil does not look like he wants to wear the German shirt;’ this was widely understood in Germany to be belated criticism for Ozil’s meeting/photo-op with Erdogan in the weeks before the World Cup (Gundogan was booed at the friendly against Saudi Arabia in Leverkusen for the same reason).. Matthaus’ reported comments resonate with long-running anxieties about the place of players who have a migrational (and especially Turkish) background in Die Mannschaft, and beyond that it evokes anxieties about the place of Islamic immigrants in contemporary Germany, the single biggest political controversy of the moment.

    Who knows if any of this has anything to do with Fox’s decision to remove Matthaus. Matthaus is a legendarily inarticulate moron whatever his qualities as a player thirty years ago, and both Seedorf and (especially) O’Neill are a thousand times more insightful and intelligent, so there’s that. But perhaps Fox are heading off the possibility in advance of Matthaus saying something potentially controversial about immigrants and national identity to an American audience at this exact moment in history?

    It might sound a bit conspiratorial (and I myself don’t know the specific nature of Matthaus’ purported comments about Ozil), but it all sounds like something slightly more likely than anything having to do with the 2026 bid. Perhaps there is some way of looking into it?

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