Israel, Germany draw marred by German player's boycott

Media reports that Dejagah had been suspended turned out to be false.

October 13, 2007 18:27
1 minute read.
Israel, Germany draw marred by German player's boycott

Ashkan Dejagah 224.88. (photo credit: AP [file])

Playing without the Iranian-born striker who refused to compete in Israel, Germany was held to a 2-2 draw by the Israelis in an under-21 European Championship qualifier on Friday. Ashkan Dejagah, who was born in Iran but moved to Germany as a child, cited "political reasons" and his Iranian descent for pulling out of the match in Tel Aviv. The decision sparked a public outcry in Germany this week, with Jewish leaders calling for his exclusion from the national team. Media reports said Dejagah had been suspended indefinitely because of his decision, but the German soccer federation said that wasn't the case. "Our president (Theo Zwanziger) never said that he would be suspended," federation press officer Jens Grittner told The Associated Press. Zwanziger and other federation representatives will soon meet with Dejagah to clarify the situation, he said. The federation has been criticized for agreeing to let Dejagah skip the game. Germany went ahead in the 18th minute through Osnabruck midfielder Rouwen Hennings, who capitalized on a mix-up in the Israel penalty area and lobbed the ball past Israeli goalkeeper Ohad Levite. Maor Buzaglo equalized just before halftime, and substitute Hen Azriel put Israel ahead in the 70th minute before Hennings scored his second goal in the 78th to tie the game.

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