“Sirnitz, 277 inhabitants and residents. And one weekend this year, the otherwise tranquil and quiet little village in Carinthia will be unhinged: From June 16-19, 2022, there will be rocking, there will be kicking, and there will be partying hard.”
Those are the bold and brash claims that can be found on the official website of the ‘Hinti Cup’ – ‘Hinti’ being the adopted nickname for Austrian international and Sirnitz native Martin Hinteregger.
The 29-year-old center-back, a Europa League winner with Eintracht Frankfurt, grew up in the small village and is “related to most of the [residents of Sirnitz],” as he wrote on Instagram.
Then he should have also been aware of Heinrich Sickl’s political background. According to research by Austrian journalist Michael Bonvalot, Sickl is one of three equal stakeholders along with Hinteregger at Hinti Event GmbH, the organizers of the event that was due to be held at an estate owned by Sickl’s mother.
Like Hinteregger, Sickl is also from Sirnitz. He sat on the Graz City Council for the right-wing populist party FPÖ until 2021 and made headlines during that time because of his contacts with the far-right. For example, he rented premises to the far-right “Identitarian Movement Austria.”
The symbols of the “Identitarians” have been banned in Austria since mid-2021. In the bill, the government described the organization as “right-wing extremist, racist, sexist, nationalist and ethnically-oriented.” As a youth in the 1990s, Sickl was a member of the German neo-Nazi organization Nationalist Front, which was banned as unconstitutional in 1992. The FPÖ had dismissed this as a “youth sin” on the part of the politician.
Loved by the fans
Frankfurt pride themselves on opposing the right-wing with preisdent Peter Fischer stating in the past that those ideals don’t aline with the beliefs and values of the club. Hinteregger is a firm fan favourite and became emblematic of the Frankfurt grind and grit that produced their incredible run to Europa League glory.
In response to the allegations, Hinteregger took to Instagram to clarify his position. “It is unbelievable that an unknown person can say such things about me. Like the Sickl family, I am rooted in Sirnitz, I wanted to show my appreciation and say thank you to the fans, patrons and supporters from my childhood with the ‘Hinti Cup’.”
“I have no knowledge of past or future activities on the part of the Sickl family, I just want a soccer tournament to take place and nothing more. Any business relationship with the Sickl family will be terminated with immediate effect due to the current state of knowledge, and the event “Hinti-Cup” will be examined alternatively to clarify a further course of action.”
“I have friends all over the world through my time in professional soccer and also privately, and clearly reject accusations that I am right-wing oriented, and continue to stand up against any kind of discrimination!”
Austrian musician DJ Ötzi and Frankfurt rapper Vega are among those scheduled to perform at the ‘Hinti Cup’ next week. Vega is an avowed member of the Eintracht fan group Ultras Frankfurt 97. Hinteregger has reportedly even chartered a plane to bring participants of the ‘Hinti Cup’ to Carinthia.
This article was translated from German
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