What only Australians understand

"Australians just don't get it"


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Because the demands on children and adolescents in school and at work are increasing in Australia and parents shy away from the high risk of injurious sports, they are increasingly registering their children in football clubs. "The trend," says Les Murray, "is that over 35-year-olds are switching to football in order to start a second career in sports." Because "at 50 you just can't play rugby anymore," says Murray, "but football can."

The Socceroos finals in Qatar should help make the sport of football even more popular on the fifth continent. A merit not least from Holger Osieck, 1990 world champion with the DFB-Elf as assistant coach to Franz Beckenbauer. Just a few months after he took over as the new head coach, Australian sports commentators judged that the German had understood "to embrace the Australian mentality".

Osieck has overturned the system of its predecessor and directed the Socceroos offensively. With five points and 6: 1 goals from the group matches, they made it to the quarter-finals of the Asian Cup and then pushed defending champion Iraq out of the tournament. In the semifinals they outclassed Uzbekistan with 6-0 goals.

The organizers of the Asian Cup have declared Australia to host the next continental championship in four years. That may be a little consolation for the disgrace at the World Cup awards for 2022. The sting is still "too deep," says Les Murray, having been defeated by Qatar of all places when applying for 2022.

"Australians just don't understand," says Murray, "that a country like Qatar with only 1.5 million inhabitants will be awarded a World Cup". While the World Cup qualifiers in Melbourne attract up to 75,000 spectators, the Socceroos came up in front of half-empty ranks at the Asian Cup in Qatar.