Tuesday, June 29, 2010

'The God of Football Has Avenged Us for Wembley'

Germans have two reasons for being ecstatic after Sunday's 4:1 thrashing of England at the football World Cup, write German commentators. Not only did Germany outplay their arch enemies, who played like "listless donkeys," but they were also avenged for a referee error that went against them in the 1966 World Cup final in London's Wembley stadium.

Like a football chorus in perfect tune, all major German newspapers are hailing Germany's 4:1 victory over England at the World Cup in South Africa on Sunday as "revenge for Wembley."

Some have even got religious about it, praising the "god of football" for handing down divine justice in the form of a blatant referee error that robbed England of a crystal-clear goal on Sunday. At last, commentators say, Germany has been avenged for 1966, when England had a goal wrongly allowed in the legendary World Cup final at London's Wembley stadium, which England won 4:2.

The cathartic outpouring of Teutonic emotion reveals how traumatic the incident 44 years ago must have been for a nation that is every bit as football crazy as the mother country of the game.

It is true that the circumstances of midfielder Frank Lampard's shot on Sunday were uncannily similar to the referee error that went in England's favor in 1966. Then, Geoff Hurst's strike bounced down off the crossbar and was counted as a goal, even though it didn't cross the German line.

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