Martin Hinteregger was recently unable to make a speech on the soccer field, the defender from Eintracht Frankfurt has to watch his teammates win the Europa League because of his injury. But the Austrian is active away from the pitch - and attracts attention with an ugly business partner.
Martin Hinteregger is a fan favorite at Eintracht Frankfurt. The defender, who missed the Europa League final due to injury, has long since achieved cult status. Including own "Hinti" song. But this nimbus could now crumble. Not only because he recently told the "Kronen-Zeitung" that "a lot has broken down". The club told him "in late autumn and between the quarter-finals against Barcelona that I should leave in the summer," he complained in the newspaper. But mainly because the Austrian works with well-known rights to organize a football tournament.
The "Hinti-Cup", a hobby tournament by and with the 29-year-old, takes place in Carinthia, Austria. "From 16th to 19th June 2022 we will celebrate my 2 worlds, my 2 hearts in Sirnitz and we will all spend a casual and unprecedented weekend dedicated to football, the best music and cross-border ties," says von Hinteregger the event's website. Football and music are planned. Many concerts are on the program, including DJ Ötzi and Vega. The Frankfurt rapper is part of the Eintracht scene and also writes lyrics about the club. The festival apparently attracts many fans from Frankfurt.
But the long weekend is likely to be less fun than planned. Because the Austrian journalist Michael Bonvalot reveals that Hinteregger is organizing the tournament with a questionable partner: the former Graz FPÖ councilor Heinrich Sickl. Bonvalot calls him a "very well-known face in the Austrian right-wing scene".
Sickl is said to have had connections to the extreme right-wing scene in his youth. At the age of just 17, he was a member of the banned German neo-Nazi organization "Nationalist Front". In recent years he has shown himself to be a supporter of the Identitarian movement. When the New Right marches, he is said to have worked with the security service, among other things. He is also said to have rented rooms to the group and donated money. According to research, he is said to have even organized events with the central figure of the New Right, Götz Kubitschek.
It is unclear how well Hinteregger knows his business partner. But he and Sickl definitely are, because they founded "Hinti Event GmbH" together with a restaurateur. Sickl was also listed as a press contact on the website until Thursday morning, but has since been replaced.
"It's rather unlikely that Hinteregger doesn't have at least an idea of who he's working with," says Bonvalot. The town of Sirnitz has fewer than 300 inhabitants, and Hinteregger's father Franz is the head of the municipal office. Hinteregger should at least know that Sickl is a member of the FPÖ, just like his mother Elisabeth, who was also Federal Minister for Labour, Health and Social Affairs for the right-wing populist party from February to April 2000. Due to a restructuring, she then moved to the office of Federal Minister for Social Security and Generations, but had to leave this position in October 2000 at the request of her party. Elisabeth Sickl owns the Albeck Castle, where some concerts will take place during the "Hinti-Cup".
Hinteregger has not yet commented on the research. Eintracht Frankfurt announced that they wanted to get an idea and then comment.