speechless by Auschwitz visit
The Dutch national team were left struggling for words following a visit to the former Nazi German concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau on Wednesday. Coach Bert van Marwijk and captain Mark van Bommel seemed almost bemused by the experience when speaking about it following Dutch training here. ‘It’s so difficult to describe that I won’t try to do so,’ said Van Marwijk. ‘I just wanted to go because I think it’s part of your education. I wanted to see it with my own eyes because this may never happen again.’ Van Bommel was almost blown away by the experience and had even more trouble expressing his sentiments. ‘We (the players) spoke about it afterwards, it was very emotional and impressive,’ he said. ‘You can say a lot of things (about it) but for me it was very impressive. In school you learn some things about World War II and Auschwitz but now I’ve seen it with my own eyes.’ The Netherlands were not the only team to visit the memorial site on Wednesday with Italy also making the trip. It is believed that 1.3 million people were killed by the Nazis at the concentration and extermination camp — AFP, Krakow
Greeks want to spread some joy amid debt crisis
Greece are determined to lift the mood back home during Euro 2012 with the country’s huge debt woes causing worry and fear, striker Giorgos Samaras said on Wednesday. ‘I don’t like to say big words or throw promises around,’ he told a news conference. ‘We are all thinking about the (deciding Euro qualifier) against Croatia and how we managed to help people celebrate and escape from their daily problems for a while. ‘That is what we will try to do again. I do not know how far we will go and what we can do but with our joy of playing football we want to give joy to Greeks. ‘We are a young team and the atmosphere in the squad is outstanding and that is where everything starts.’ ‘I see all the messages we get sent from our fans and that is additional motivation for us,’ said defender Avraam Papadopoulos. ‘We want to make the people happy who are with us during good times as well as bad times.’ — Reuters, Warsaw
Ashes of Poland great Deyna back
The ashes of one of Poland’s greatest players, Kazimierz Deyna, were placed at the Powazki Cemetery in Warsaw on Wednesday having been brought home almost 23 years since he was killed in a car crash in San Diego. A Polish honour guard, officials and hundreds of fans attended to mark the occasion and remember the gifted playmaker who was just 41-years-old when he died. Poland coach Franciszek Smuda and Sports Minister Joanna Mucha attended a mass to initiate an all-day ceremony ending at the stadium of Deyna’s former club Legia Warsaw where his monument was unveiled. ‘I am deeply moved and really happy that I’ve brought my husband’s ashes to Warsaw,’ said Mariola Deyna, the player’s wife. The ceremony was organised by Legia fans who had collected the money to build the monument to Deyna, who played for the club from 1966 to 1978 scoring 93 goals. Nicknamed ‘Kaka’, he was a member of the Poland team that finished third at the World Cup in 1974. He also won an Olympic gold medal in 1972, silver in 1976 and was named Poland’s footballer of the 20th century having scored 41 goals in 97 games for his country.
— Reuters, Warsaw
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