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Germany

Schily: Sing German Anthem With Pride

Germany's Interior Minister Otto Schily has called on international soccer stars such as Michael Ballack and Oliver Kahn to start belting out their national anthem with pride ahead of the 2006 World Cup. Schily claims the national anthem reflects the spirit amongst the German team and recalled a feeble version at the Euro 2000 finals when Erich Ribbeck's side were thrashed 3-0 by Portugal. "I remember the scenes at the European championships in the Netherlands. The Portuguese locked arms and sung their anthem with pride," Schily told Die Zeit newspaper. "Our players stood feebly on the pitch. One or two mumbled a bit. I said at the time they would lose and that is what happened." Germany lost 3-0 to Portugal and exited the Euro 2000 finals without a win to their name. "It is good for our team to sing the national anthem with pride and it pumps them up," added Schily.

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