BHUBANESWAR: Germany suffered a double setback at the World Hockey League Final on Saturday. Australia beat them 3-0 to advance to the final. Of greater importance, though, was what happened to several of their players on Saturday morning. Five players fell sick which severely handicapped their preparation for the semifinal.
“We have no idea what happened to the players and why they fell sick,” mainstay Florian Fuchs said. “It just happened in the early hours. I don’t know what the illness is about.” He had no idea about whether they would be fit enough to take the field against India in the bronze-medal playoff on Sunday. Germany was so handicapped that substitute goalkeeper Mark Appel played as a forward.
If this is related to food, it could come as a blow to the organisers. Earlier in the tournament, several Netherlands and England players had gone done with a mystery illness. While they didn’t explicitly say it was food-related, the state machinery had whizzed into action conducting checks of all kitchens associated with the team hotels.
Results: 5-6th place: Belgium 1 Spain 0. Semifinal: Australia 3 Germany 0. On Sunday: 3rd-4th place (5.05 pm): India vs Germany. Final (7.20 pm): Argentina vs Australia.