With a verbal slip, ZDF expert Sandro Wagner received massive criticism during the World Cup. He has been accused of racism for calling the traditional Qatari robes a "bathrobe". He apologizes, the broadcaster continues to rely on him.
After the criticism of his comment during the ZDF broadcast of the World Cup game Germany against Spain (1: 1), the expert Sandro Wagner described his statement as ill-considered and inappropriate. The former professional soccer player said on Sunday in the 79th minute: "I thought before that the whole corner was full of Germany fans. Then I realized it was the Qatari bathrobes." Wagner alluded to the long white robes, called thawb, traditional in Qatar, which many men also wear in the stadium.
"It was an ill-considered saying with an inappropriate remark that I could have saved myself. If someone felt attacked - sorry, that was my intention at zero point," the 34-year-old said the day after the game. Wagner's statement had been criticized on social media and he had been accused of racism. The ZDF "Sportstudio" responded in an answer to a tweet on the subject: "Sandro Wagner's statement about the Thawb unfortunately happened in an emotional phase of the game. It must not. We will discuss it."
Wagner does not have to reckon with consequences from the broadcaster. ZDF said on request that he accompanied the game alongside commentator Oliver Schmidt very expertly. On Wednesday, Wagner will again be in action together with Schmidt as co-commentator for the second game in the Poland-Argentina game.
In the past few months, Wagner had impressed with eloquent analysis, be it as a co-commentator on DAZN or ZDF. But excitement is nothing new for the former Bundesliga professional. The man's coaches often put it on record that one had to discuss escapades with him when he had once again made a verbal lapse in the service of Bayern Munich, Darmstadt 98 or TSG Hoffenheim. The 34-year-old is now employed as a coach at the Unterhaching game association and coaches the top team that plays in the regional league.