Attempting to watch the Germany team train

Oh dear oh dear.

This weekend, the German Women’s World Cup team are training a five minute walk away from us here in Meerbusch. The excitement in the town… indeed the whole region is palpable. There are Germany flags on cars, Germany flags on flagpoles, Germany shirts on kids and adults alike… scarcely a beer is downed in our local hostelries without an opinion being expressed about the future of Birgit Prinz in the team or the marital status of the Korean referee’s parents.

Today we wandered down to the training ground.

From what we could tell, every parking space in Meerbusch – possibly in the whole of the Niederrhein – was taken by fans, hoping for a glipse of the women footballers.  Even the team bus had been forced to drive into the ground and park in a zone outside the changing rooms which is normally closed to traffic. I should have rented out my driveway!

Parken verboten - except for the Germany bus, obviously

Getting near to the ground was tricky, due to the sheer number of fans who had turned up. The stand was packed to bursting…

Standing room only... no not even standing room....

It seems that around five times more people had turned up than expected, causing the local police to phone for assistance from the Kriminalpolizei, who had in turn ordered the DFB to lay on marshalls. These turned up in the form of a local security firm, whose key role seemed to be to turn away anyone else who showed up. In a very officious manner.

We managed to plead with one of the security goons, who wasn’t letting us in, to let us take one photo of the team training.

The Germany team in Büderich

“That’s two…” he snarled, as we cunningly flicked the camera shutter a second time.

A photo too far....

… and with that we were virtually frog-marched away.


Filed under About Germany, Life in Germany

2 responses to “Attempting to watch the Germany team train

  1. My recent experience is that a lined notebook with your logo on it (from VistaPrint), a decent SLR camera, and a bunch of Visitenkarten go a long way to getting permission to take photos.

    Being equipped with these alone often leads to people asking “who do you write for”, and writing for a website with a different target audience to the usual (printed) press can get you (a) in (b) an interview (c) a great place to stand for photos.

    • It never occurred to us that they would turn people away from a public training session. For the mens world cup of-course Chris had DFB accreditation – and he is indeed now writing on this World Cup as a journalist.

      The problem was that they were overwhelmed by the sheer numbers, hadn’t planned for it, got people in at short notice with no training and just straight instructions not to let anyone else in. The Kripo’s involvement was because the whole thing was breaching safety regulations. The Polizei were struggling to keep the roads moving – there was way more traffic than our neck of the woods can deal with, especially with all the Wildparker.

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