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While You Were Asleep: Martinez defends de Bryune’s ‘we’re too old’ comment, Qatari fans hit back at Germany, Rashford eager to take penalty in a shootout

Martinez's response came In the aftermath of Belgium's 2-0 shock defeat to Morocco on Sunday. The backlash from Qatari fans came out as a response to Germany's covering-of-mouth protest. The 25-year-old missed a penalty in the Euro final in 2021 last July against Italy.

Martinez during the post match press conference(Reuters), Qatar fans with Ozil's photos during the game between Spain and Germany(AP), Marcus Rashford playing for England(AP). Order from left to right

Belgium’s boss on de Bryune’s “we’re too old” comment

In the aftermath of Belgium’s 2-0 shock defeat to Morocco on Sunday Belgium boss, Roberto Martínez was asked if De Bryune’s comments of them being too old distracted his side which the 49-year-old denied.

“This is the first time I’ve heard those comments,” claimed Martínez.

“At a World Cup players have to speak to the media every day, 90% of it will be positive but there are always one or two lines that don’t fit into the context.” the gaffer added.

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Martínez further added “We are all professionals and we know how to perform. A player is allowed to air their view. We’ve been together for six years now and comments won’t help us to win. Maybe it was a double-bluff. It’s what happens behind the scenes that matter.”

Belgium had another lacklustre performance against Morocco after their performance against Canada in their opening game which they somehow managed to win narrowly 1-0.

Qatari fans hits back at Germany

Qatari fans responded to Germany’s protest by recalling the former German player Mesut Ozil’s incident during the game between Spain and Germany at Al Khor in Doha.

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Ozil has been accused of being racially abused by the country’s soccer federation, fans and media in the past when he has not performed well for the side.

“I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose,” the world cup winner said at the time.

Qatar fans holding Mesut Ozil’s drawings as a part of protest in the Spain vs Germany game(AP)

The backlash came out as a response to Germany’s covering of mouth protest when FIFA warned the players of the yellow card booking if they were to enter into the ground with one love armband to protest against LGBTQ community rights in Qatar.

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After the stalemate against Spain German player Ilkay Gündogan said “Honestly, my point of view is: now the politics are finished,” Gündogan said. “The country of Qatar is very proud to host the World Cup, also the first Muslim country, and I come from a Muslim family. So the Muslim community is proud. So I think now it’s just about football.”

England’s Marcus Rashford confident of taking a penalty

Marcus Rashford says he will volunteer to take a penalty if needed. The 25-year-old missed a penalty in the Euro final in 2021 last July against Italy.

When asked if he has any doubts about stepping up for taking the penalty “No, not at all,” he said. “They are big moments and, as an individual, I’ve always been comfortable with them. I enjoy being in big moments so I’m hoping that we get to take another penalty in the tournament. I’m looking forward to it.” Rashford said confidently to the guardian.

The Manchester forward in the immediate aftermath of his missed penalty was abused racially on social media and on the field. After a leg-surgery Rashford had a torrid time for the club Manchester United.

Rashford has scored against Iran coming in as a substitute in their 6-2 win in their World Cup opening fixture.

First published on: 28-11-2022 at 08:42 IST
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