The ugly game: Global media mocks Swiss football club for hideous artwork

The ugly game: Global media mocks Swiss football club for hideous artwork

If it's your job to paint or redecorate rooms and buildings, it's never great to see your handiwork mocked worldwide. Unfortunately, that was the case for artists in Canton Zurich, whose paintings on the walls of a local football club were shunned as simply hideous by the international media and the football club itself.

FC Tössfeld in Switzerland mocked for renovated club bar

And it was all meant to be so perfect: in a just a few weeks' time, FC Tössfeld in Winterthur was going to unveil their newly renovated club bar. Soon, the fans of this small club would be able to watch their team and talk about their trials and tribulations in the 4. Liga -  the eighth tier of Swiss football - over a beer.

The team also had a strong backer in the local council (Gemeinde), who wanted to use the bar as a neighbourhood centre. Therefore, the city of Winterthur paid two local artists 28.000 francs to paint the club bar, but what they got was childish at best, and a headache-inducing eyesore at worst.

"Hideous" artwork in Swiss football club mocked worldwide

Martin Zgraggen, President of FC Tössfeld, told SRF that they were shocked when they first saw the labyrinthine blue lines, squiggles and hastily painted symbols. "When you come into this room, you see wild blue lines and circles there, lots of symbols that are very confusing and restless," he noted.

The newly "painted" room was quickly picked up by international media, with German newspaper Bild calling it a “scribble debacle” made worse by the fact Swiss taxes were used to pay for it. “Child-style scribbling… maybe it's time to repaint two or three things” were the thoughts of one French football magazine, while Serbian paper Vecernje novosti paraphrased the anti-Vietnam war chant with “the whole world is watching and rubbing its eyes.”

Much mocked mural to remain at FC Tössfeld

In response, the two artists, Maureen and Stefanie Kägi, said that their painting was designed to include the symbols and emotions related to football. They said that they had received many positive reactions and were disappointed that the football team didn’t like it.

For their part, FC Tössfeld saw the funny side of the situation, with a recent ad on their website stating: "We don't just need painters at FC Tössfeld, additional motivated trainers are even more important!" While he has asked for the art to be “revised,” club president Zgraggen concluded that "just because we're not satisfied with the work of art, we can still take the whole thing with humour…we have no intention of painting over the work."

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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