June 8 – With Confederation Cup ticket sales slow to take off, Russia’s World Cup chief Alexei Sorokin has bemoaned Germany’s decision to send a weakened squad to the traditional warmup tournament which begins on June 17.
So far not a single game, including Russia’s three group stage matches and the final, is been sold out and FIFA has released additional tickets for some matches, hoping local fans will snap them up at the last minute.
Hosts Russia welcome world champions Germany and the other continental title holders to the two-week, eight-team tournament in four venues, Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Kazan and Sochi.
But Sorokin is disappointed German coach Joachim Löw is not sending its best side.
Toni Kroos, Thomas Muller ,Mesut Ozil and Mats Hummels are among the big names to be left out as Low opts to give them an end-of-season break. Goalkeeping star Manuel Neuer, Benedikt Howedes and Mario Gotze were already ruled out.
Low has named seven uncapped players with Germany in Group B alongside Cameroon, Chile and Australia.
“Naturally, fans are disheartened when the reigning world champion is competing without its stars,” Sorokin was quoted as saying. “But we have to accept that.”
“Maybe Joachim Löw is superstitious and consciously does not want to win the Confed Cup because every winner does not become world champion a year later!”
Contact the writer of this story at email@example.com