Euro 2024: Group E threatens a second shame from Gijón

Euro 2024: Group E threatens a second shame from Gijón

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The European Championship is threatened with a second disgrace from Gijón

Status: 09:39 am | Reading time: 3 minutes

Nobody had to take a shower after this game: Paul Breitner (l.) and the Austrian Roland Hattenberger in Gijón in 1982

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The ball-pushing between Germany and Austria at the 1982 World Cup went down in football history as the Shame of Gijón. Changes to the format are designed to make such scandals impossible. But that is exactly what happened in Group E of the European Championship on Wednesday.

The European Football Union UEFA would certainly have liked to avoid this situation. On the last day of the preliminary round of the European Championship, a second Gijón is looming. The non-aggression pact in the Spanish city ensured that both Germany and Austria reached the next round with the same result at the 1982 World Cup – at the expense of Algeria, which had already exited the group phase.

At that time, the German national team won 1-0 against Austria thanks to an early goal (11th minute) by Horst Hrubesch. As this result was enough for both teams to advance to the next round, they soon stopped any attempts to change the result. The spectators witnessed an undignified ball-pushing, and angry Algerian spectators in the stands waved banknotes. The game went down in football history as the Shame of Gijón. This experience also led to the format of tournaments being changed and the last games in a group are now played at the same time.

Angry Algerian spectators in the stands

And yet this Wednesday (6 p.m./ARD and MagentaTV) there is a similar constellation to that in 1982. Namely in the match between Slovakia and Romania in Frankfurt am Main.

Slovakia and Romania have clarity even before kick-off

Thanks to the format with 24 teams and six groups, from which the four best third-placed teams advance, Slovakia and Romania have clarity even before kick-off. A draw would be enough for both teams to guarantee a place in the round of 16. After two match days, the Romanians lead the group, in which all four teams have collected three points (3:2 goals). The Slovakians are currently in third place (2:2) behind Belgium and ahead of Ukraine.

A dream goal and two goalkeeper mistakes – Romania’s victory against Ukraine in video

The Romanian national team starts the European Championship with a surprisingly clear victory. Stanciu puts the Romanians in the lead with a dream goal. Ukraine’s goalkeeper does not cut a good figure with two goals. The highlights in the video.

If there is a draw, both teams will definitely remain in the top three of the group. In the parallel match between Belgium and Ukraine, there will either be a winner, which would leave the loser behind Romania and Slovakia. If there are two draws in Group E, Ukraine will remain in last place in the table. The outcome of the other match would therefore be irrelevant for Slovakia and Romania to progress, provided both teams get a point.

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Since the third-placed teams in Group A (Hungary with three points) and Group B (Croatia with two points) have less than four points, a draw would be enough for Slovakia and Romania. For both teams, who were previously considered outsiders, reaching the round of 16 would already be a success.

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If a non-aggression pact does come about, the parties involved should think about how they will comment on the whole thing beforehand. The classifications of the parties involved in 1982 were just as scandalous as the game itself. He was not interested in “when Aunt Frieda makes a fuss at home,” said the German Uwe Reinders, for example, but this was harmless compared to the deeply racist comments made by the head of the Austrian delegation, Hans Tschak, to the Algerians: “If 10,000 sons of the desert want to start a scandal, that just shows that they don’t have enough schools. A sheikh comes from an oasis, gets to sniff the World Cup atmosphere after 300 years and thinks he can now open his mouth.”


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