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Fans Ask Austria to Withdraw from Euro 2008

A campaign is underway in Austria to withdraw the team from next summer's European Championship. Austria, along with co-host Switzerland, has automatically qualified for the finals as host. More than 10,000 supporters, however, have now signed a petition urging the team to withdraw from its own tournament.

Why? Simply put, "it is the worst Austrian team ever," said former Austria international Anton Polster, who holds the national team's scoring record. The petition, embarrassingly, is called "Let's Not Embarrass Ourselves." Its organizer, Michael Krauss, claims that: "The way Austria is playing is an insult to our, to every fan's aesthetic understanding of the game." Wow, one wouldn't be surprised if Austria were booed through each of its games by its own fans.

On the other hand, the petitioners have a point: Austria, which plays England in a friendly Friday, isn't likely to go far in its own tournament. Since January 2006 the team has played 18 matches, winning four, losing eight, and tying the remaining six. The only decent win came against Switzerland, although the Swiss have beaten Austria since. Among Austria's losses: Canada, Venezuela, Hungary and Chile. The likes of Malta, Cost Rica and Paraguay all managed draws.

Read the whole story at Independent »

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