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Germany coach rejects fixing claim
September 14, 2006 14:30 IST
Germany coach Bernhard Peters rejected suggestions that his team's goalless draw with Korea was orchestrated to keep the Netherlands out of the semi-finals of the 11th FIH men's hockey World Cup in Monchengladbach, Germany, on Wednesday.
"We had a tough match yesterday [Tuesday], and we were little afraid of the Korean counter-attack. We did have two good chances in the first-half but wasted them. As far as I am concerned, Germany have topped the pool and that is what matters to us," he said, while answering persistent questions on whether the two teams were involved in a "fixed" match.
The Korean team officials were not available for comments and did not meet the media even 30 minutes after the match.
The draw helped Korea and Germany to advance to the semi-finals with 11 points apiece, leaving the Dutch on 10.
Meanwhile, Els van Breda Vriesman, president of the International Hockey Federation, when contacted said, she had no comments to offer on the match that she watched from the stands.
"It is a pity," was her repeated response.
The last time a similar incident occurred was in the 1994 World Cup at Sydney when Germany and the Netherlands played out a goalless draw that knocked India out of contention for a semi-final spot.
Later, Korean coach Seong Jong Kim defended his team's tactics of defensive play by saying that they were keen to deny the Germans space to make their attacks.
"We deliberately resorted to defence as we not only wanted the one point, but also keep the Germans away from our goal," he said, punctuating his statement with laughter.
Roelant Oltmans, coach of the Netherlands, expressed disappointment at the manner in which the match was played.
"But I think we put ourselves in this situation by losing to Korea in our first match. I guess, there is nothing that can be done now," he said.
"As you could see, there was no real intention on part of the teams to win; there were hardly any shots at goal and no penalty-corners," he said.
Oltmans said he did not intend lodging a protest.
"There is no point in protesting. It has happened, and we have to look ahead," he said.