True heroes of the mountain never give up – Welcome to the Bergdorf-EM 2021

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TV special broadcast from 04.07.2020 20:00

Voice Over TV special broadcast: English

Sign language: YES

Untertitel der Sondersendung ab 6.7.2020:  Englisch, Deutsch, Französisch, Spanisch, Portugiesisch, Niederländisch, Italienisch, Polnisch, Russisch, Japanisch und Chinesisch.

Special broadcast from 04.07.2020 – 20:00


True heroes of the mountain never give up –
Welcome to the Bergdorf-EM 2021

After the cancellation of the Bergdorf-EM 2020, instigated by the local council of the Staldenried municipality, a sad disillusionment has moved in on the world of authentic mountain football. Years-long preparations, the diligence of many helpers, the engagement of sponsors, and the pleasant anticipation of the fans and international teams were essentially reduced to nothing in the course of a single day.

And yet, the organizers and creators of the Bergdorf-EM, surrounding the president of the organization committee, Fabian Furrer, had almost fussily prepared for a special highlight in the region, even after the outbreak of the Corona pandemic. A meticulously structured safety concept, the confirmation from the Federal Assembly and the canton, as well as the encouragement from thousands of fans from around the world were not a strong enough sign for the municipal council of Staldenried to erect a real beacon in the Valaisian mountains with the Bergdorf-EM 2020. For different reasons the foundation of a successful and safe Bergdorf-EM in the Ottmar Hitzfeld Gspon Arena was torn down before an event-extraordinaire, with a broad impact into the world, could be built upon it.


“You have to rule and win, or serve and lose, suffer or triumph, be an anvil or a hammer.”


This quote from the big German poet and thinker, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe outlines best how the protagonists positioned themselves surrounding the execution of the Bergdorf-EM 2020. Here, everyone has to know for themselves which role he wants to assume. The public perception will then anyway go [down] its own path, but can be influenced with activity, openness, and engagement.

More succinctly: Everyone needs to know if they want to be part of the problem or part of the solution. In the end, this will differentiate the doers from the doubters.

Bergdorf-EM association sends strong signals

Notably, the association’s president, Fabian Furrer, who is also the president of the organizing committee of the Bergdorf-EM 2020, sends strong signals with his personal statement (LINK) on the cancellation of the Bergdorf-EM 2020. Here it is about solutions, reconciliation, and, most of all, about the strengthening of the mountain region, which could have sent a good signal out to the world with this extraordinary and authentic mountain football event.

From the very first moment in which the local council of Staldenried questioned the execution of the Bergdorf-EM 2020, without being asked, many municipalities and sport clubs nationally and internationally offered themselves up to host the games of the Bergdorf-EM 2020. Additionally, in a public survey with many thousand participants, there was a clear statement in favor of holding the Bergdorf-EM in this year – if need be, even outside of Staldenried/Gspon.

Especially Fabian Furrer, but also the association (the Bergdorf-EM), clearly take the side of a small mountain village, which, unlike any other [village] in this world, became the symbol of authentic mountain football. Gspon is the birthplace of the Bergdorf-EM and should remain the homeland of the same. That’s a clear statement for the municipality, for the region, and for the goals that are linked to the Bergdorf-EM. And to that, without a doubt, belongs the aid for charitable organisations and purposes in the region and beyond.

Personal statements show the ties to authentic mountain football


After the cancellation of the European mountain football tournament in 2020 in the Ottmar Hitzfeld Gspon Arena became public, friends of mountain football from around the world chimed in. Besides Bernd Heynemann and Martin Andermatt, Mirco Robus also talks from the German corner about what makes mountain football so special.

In his wording, he emphasizes how important this type of football is, and what the German mountain village national team makes out of it. Straight from the Thuringia Forest we learn about the German team’s preparations and about the big public interest that this event generates. In a special ‘Thüringer Talk’ stars from all parts of society chime in: An internationally renowned artist is creating special works of art, musicians make a small spectacle out of the Bergdorf-EM, and Olympic Champions from Thuringia show how important the non-commercial sport can be.

Great regret – but also confidence – are conveyed by Bernd Heyemann, the referee legend, as he deeply regrets the cancellation of the Bergdorf-EM 2020, but [he] is looking forward to the games in 2021.

Martin Andermatt, as the coach of the Swiss mountain national football team, finds himself in the same state of mind. For him it is important that a postponed tournament isn’t automatically forgotten. Authentic football is the most important [thing] in the world, paired with the team spirit shown by the creators, communicators, and the athletes [in the large community].

Bergdorf-EM 2020 turns into Bergdorf-EM 2021

After the disappointing message from the local council of Staldenried, the organizers and creators of the Bergdorf-EM 2020 could easily have given up and cancelled the tournament completely. The true heroes of the mountain prove themselves as genuinely heroic then, when they face a difficult situation.

And thus it quickly became clear that the Bergdorf-EM 2020 had to turn into the Bergdorf-EM 2021, in the same location, in the Ottmar Hitzfeld Gspon Arena, high up in the mountains of Valais. Where else would such an event take place, if not here? Now the organizers are doing their utmost so that this confidence can become reality. With elaborate work the sponsors and supporters are strengthened in their engagement; innumerable mails are being sent to friends and fans of the Bergdorf-EM, and so in their ever- open and transparent communication both internally and externally, the organizers show themselves as true doers.

The association now hopes for the same engagement from the local councilmembers of Staldenried, so that a new Bergdorf-EM can be celebrated in 2021. This is also done by the numerous fans from around the world who are true to the Bergdorf-EM association and the ideas behind it.

Just becuase it’s finished doesn’t mean it’s over

Even if there cannot be a fascinating Bergdorf-EM this summer, it is far from over for Fabian Furrer and his association. Already in the coming months, spectacular events at different locations will showcase with what power and strength the association can carry its ideas into the world. A truly royal football party will likely already take place in the first months of the year 2021, on the Klein Matterhorn above Zermatt. Additionally, an elaborate TV-documentary will start, devoted to the topic of health in an, up until now, unknown breadth and depth. The biggest streaming service in the world has already purchased this documentary with specialists, experts, and stars, and will carry the call of the Swiss mountains far out into the world.

Just as the creators of the Bergdorf-EM have already been doing anyway; for example, broadcast episodes about the Bergdorf-EM will continue, with a sign language interpreter and subtitles in multiple languages. The little extras will also still exist. The exclusive spice blend „Magie der Alpen” specifically made for the Bergdorf-EM, a highly anticipated herbal salt will be created, with salt from the Swiss mountains infused with the best herbs of the Alps. By the way, this will be available starting August 1st 2020.

And, of course, also in terms of engagement for charitable causes with SportMeetsCharity and for authentic football, the association will be relentless. Even now one is already adjusting to a Bergdorf-EM 2021, that will then be an even bigger celebration for authentic football and for the people in the mountains.

It would also be nice if then, when the municipality of Staldenried acts openly, actively, transparently, and honestly towards the association, that it would show that there are real problem-solvers and real doers at the helm. This is important not only for the idea of the Bergdorf-EM, but especially for the people in a region that lives like no other off of the tourism, ideas, and valor of its inhabitants

Even if the lights of the beacon project of the Bergdorf-EM 2020 have died this year, their blaze will keep radiating out into the world, until the spark then reignites in the new year and becomes a sparkling diamond with effective charisma shining out of the region.


Of this the chief of communications of the Bergdorf-EM, Beat Ambord, is sure. He already sees the coming Bergdorf-EM as a good sign for the people in Switzerland, in Europe, and everywhere in the world. Because true heroes never give up. Especially not when [things] are getting difficult. Over 170 sponsors, hundreds of supporters and helpers, countless fans, international friends and interested [parties], and especially the inhabitants of the region are then the most important pillar, when it will finally say: Welcome to the Bergdorf-EM 2021 in the Ottmar Hitzfeld Gspon Arena, the craziest football tournament in the Alps!

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