Friday, July 27, 2007

Football title to be decided after 113 years

In 1894, southwest German club Hanau could not afford to travel the 400 kilometres to play Viktoria Berlin in the final.

Viktoria were therefore declared champions by default, leading to complaints that their victory was unfair.

"We just wanted to clear up the issue once and for all in the spirit of sport," said Hanau's President Thomas Tamberg.

Both clubs have fallen from the heady heights they occupied in the fledgling German soccer scene of the late 19th century and now play in the regional leagues.

Money, though is still an issue for Hanau, with Tamberg admitting: "We couldn't have got the money together this time if we hadn't found sponsors."

Hanau however will have a tough time if they are to claim the old title. In the first leg of the tie earlier this month they lost 3-0 to their Berlin counterparts, who play in a higher regional level.

The President of the German Football Federation, Theo Zwanziger, who was present at the first match, said: "I think it's a great idea," he said.

"Both teams took it very seriously."

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