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Wed Apr 16 18:01:44 SAST 2014

Sing anthem or don't play, Germans warned

Sapa-AFP | 20 July, 2012 12:240 Comments
Head coach Joachim Loew (L) and assistant coach Hansi Flick (2nd L) of Germany line up with the bench prior to the UEFA EURO 2012 semi final match between Germany and Italy at National Stadium on June 28, 2012 in Warsaw, Poland
Image by: Alex Grimm / Getty Images

The former head of the German football federation Gerhard Mayer-Vorfelder said in an interview published on Friday that national team players should sing the national anthem or risk not been picked.

“The coach (Joachim Loew) has to make singing the national anthem compulsory,” he was quoted as saying in an interview with the Bild daily.

“He (Loew) has always said that he can’t force them to. But I think it’s possible.

“He should say to a player that he has to sing otherwise he will not be picked.”  The former DFB president cited the Euro 2012 semi-final in Warsaw as an example, noting that “the Italians (who won 2-1) sang with gusto and played with the same passion for their country. And us? It was almost shameful”.

Mayer-Verfelder, 79, said he did not understand the argument of players like Sami Khedira, who is of Tunisian origin, that he did not sing out of respect for his roots.

“For me, that’s not a reason to stay silent. You can’t play for Germany and benefit from it and yet at the same time act as if you’re only half-German,” he told the newspaper.

Germany are due to play a friendly match against Argentina in Frankfurt on August 15 before beginning their World Cup 2014 qualifying campaign on September 7, taking on the Faroe Islands in Hanover.

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