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IBSA Blind Football World Championships preview: Germany

Flag of Germany
football players at the airport

The German team departing for Japan and the World Championships today. Image credit: Deutsche Blindenfußball-Nationalmannschaft

Germany should have a good chance of finishing in the top eight, and should easily qualify out of their group as the third team.  They play Spain, Argentina, and South Korea.  The expectation is that they will lose or draw against Spain and Argentina, as the Germans have very little international experience against the much better Spanish and Argentine sides..  South Korea should not give the German’s a serious challenge as the South Koreans really under-performed at this year’s Para Asian Games.  Germany missed the both the world championships in 2006 and 2010.  These are their debut world championships.



While not necessarily playing a lot of tournaments, Germany has played a number of friendlies this year. Against Japan in a game played in Tokyo in March of this year, Germany won the friendly 3 – 0.  They also played a pair of friendlies in July against England who aren’t competing, drawing one game 1 – 1, and losing the other 0 – 1.  They had another set of friendlies against Romania in Dortmund, who have started developing their own national team program.  Germany won 10 – 0 and 6 – 0.  Their last international friendly before heading to Tokyo was against Belgium, another program still in development, in October which Belgium won 1 – 0.


Germany met some of the European teams competing at last year’s European Championships.  They drew 2 – 2 with Turkey, and then lost 1 – 0 to Turkey.  They lost to Spain 2 – 0.  The Germans played some friendlies in 2013, including a pair against France in Bonny-sur-Loire in March of last year.  They lost both, by a score of 1 – 0.  They played a friendly against Turkey in 2012, winning 2 – 1.


Other historical matches against teams in this competition include Germany losing 1 – 0 to France at the 2011 European Championships, Germany drawing 1 – 1 against China and defeating Turkey 2 – 1 at the 2011 IBSA World Games. In 2010, they beat Turkey 3 – 2 in a home friendly.  At the 2009 European Championships, they lost to France 2 – 0.  They beat Turkey 2 – 1.  At the 2007 European Championships, Germany lost to Turkey 3 – 1, and France 7 – 0.


The team competing in Germany includes field players Hasan Altunbas, Hasan Altunbas, Serdal Celebi, Alex Fangmann, Kofi Osei, Ali Can Pektas, Mulgheta Russom, Sebastian Schäfer, and Lukas Smirek. Also on the team are goalkeepers Enrico Göbel, Milan Jurkovic, and Sebastian Schleich.  The guides are Werner Nordlohne and Jule Söhner.  Thilo Nowak is an assistant coach and trainer. The national team coach is Ulrich Pfister, and Dr. Rolf Husmann is the team manager.  The team met for an intensive training camp in late October and early November.


SF Blau-Gelb Marburg fielder Ali Can Pektas is one of the German players to watch out for. He currently leads the German league in scoring with 20, ten more than the next highest scorer, national team member and MTV Stuttgart player Alex Fangmann who has 10.  BFW und VSV Würzburg player Sebastian Schäfer is third in the league with 9 goals.

Vedat Sarikaya, one of Germany’s top players. was suspended from the team in July for unsportsmanlike conduct in a match in Ilves against the English national team and will miss the tournament. Sarikaya was a key member of the squad, who ruled in the penalty box.  Having him off the team is a major setback.

Laura Hale
About Laura Hale (2569 Articles)
Laura Hale is a sport journalist, specializing in Paralympic and disability sport news. Prior to helping found ParaSport-News, she spent two and a half years working as a journalist on Wikinews, a citizen journalism site. As a journalist, she has covered the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, the 2013 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships in La Molina, the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, and a number of other sporting events. She has additional experience with Paralympic sport having worked as a Wikipedian in Residence for the Australian and Spanish Paralympic Committees. She has a PhD in Communications from the University of Canberra.

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