‘This is a debacle, this is a disaster’ say angry German fans


Nothing to cheer about: Germany fans watch the match at a bar in Berlin on Thursday. — Reuters

BERLIN: In a quickly-emptying east Berlin bar, Eric Warncke is “disappointed” by Germany’s shock exit from the World Cup, but says he already suspected it might happen.

After a surprise 2-1 loss in the opening game to Japan, the team left themselves a hill to climb to make it through to the knockout round in Qatar.

A tense 1-1 draw against Spain gave them hope of qualification, but the Spaniards’ own defeat at the hands of the Japanese on Thursday sealed the Germans’ fate despite a turbulent 4-2 win over Costa Rica.

“Nobody expected Japan to beat Spain, but in the end we were knocked out deservedly,” Warncke, 27, says.

To his mind, there are “too few characters, too few leaders” in Hansi Flick’s squad compared with the previous sides.

Germany used to pride itself on being a “tournament team”, which always had a chance of winning World Cups.

“Individually they are all good players, but it’s not a team,” he says, lamenting the disappearance of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Lukas Podolski, who lifted the trophy in 2014.

Like him, his friend Rico Wagner, 23, summed up the feeling: “Disappointed, but we also deserved it”.

After a rollercoaster game in which Germany first seemed to be going through, then did not and finally could not do enough despite a late push, the fans in the bar showed their frustration.

Even before the TV commentator confirmed Japan’s win and Germany’s exit, crying “this is a debacle, this is a disaster,” some fans grabbed their coats and headed for the door.

The full-time whistle, when it came, was met with angry shouts.

Germany should have made it “to the quarter finals, definitely”, says Levent Lanzke, 41.

“On paper it was possible, but Japan turned up. Costa Rica, too,” he said with a shrug.

“Put it this way, I don’t begrudge Japan,” he said.

“The enthusiasm was already really low,” said Sebastian Fichte, 48, reflecting on the controversial host nation Qatar and the decision to move the tournament to the European winter months from its traditional summer slot.

Concerns over human rights in Qatar have dogged preparations for the tournament and sparked calls by some of Germany’s football fan clubs to boycott games.

Viewing figures for Germany’s games so far have been well below their usual levels.

But Fichte says he will not be boycotting the rest of the World Cup despite Germany’s exit. — AFP

Article type: free
User access status:
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

   

Next In Football

Soccer-Record signing Fernandez starts for Chelsea against Fulham
Soccer-Ronaldo nets first goal for Al Nassr to snatch 2-2 draw
Soccer-'I don't understand how it is possible' - Klopp baffled by Chelsea spending
Soccer-Arsenal's Partey an injury doubt as Arteta relies on Jorginho's 'leadership'
Lionel Messi open to playing in 2026 World Cup
Soccer-Asensio, Vinicius earn Real comfortable win over 10-man Valencia
Soccer-Bremer heads Juventus into Coppa Italia semi-finals
Soccer-Nottingham Forest sign Ghana captain Ayew
Soccer-Leeds striker Rodrigo sidelined for two months
Soccer-Dyche hopes to be Everton's 'heartbeat' to pull club out of relegation zone

Others Also Read