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FOOTBALL

Bayern Munich ‘will be even better’ in 2012

The football powerhouse of Bayern Munich will be even stronger in 2012, when Bastian Schweinsteiger and Arjen Robben are fully fit, coach Jupp Heynckes predicted after a 10-man Bayern Munich routed Cologne 3-0 in their final German league match of the year.

Bayern Munich 'will be even better' in 2012
Photo: DPA

In other football news, the struggling Berlin football club, Hertha BSC, is expected to get a new trainer in the new year, following intense media speculation that current trainer Markus Babbel is getting the boot, various media reports suggested.

But a new Hertha trainer is unlikely to challenge the depth and breadth of the Bayern team, which solidly beat Cologne even though midfielder Franck Ribery was sent off at 33 minutes after being shown two yellow cards in the space of a minute.

Despite its numerical disadvantage against Cologne on Friday, Bayern went ahead after the break when striker Mario Gomez claimed his 16th goal in 16 league games before second-half substitute David Alaba doubled Bayern’s lead just after the hour mark.

Germany midfielder Toni Kroos then made it three in the dying minutes as unconvincing Cologne’s defence fell apart.

The win leaves Bayern clearly at the top of the Bundesliga table and six points ahead of rival Borussia Dortmund — ahead of the weekend’s other games.

One of those games will be played Saturday by Berlin’s Hertha BSC, currently in 11th place, which faces 9th place 1899 Hoffenheim.

Rumours about a trainer switch at Hertha have been brewing in Berlin for weeks.

Reports now suggest that Babbel could leave the team before the year’s end, even though his contract extends through this year’s football season. Reports suggest Babbel will receive a severance payment.

Skibbe was the national team trainer between 2000 and 2004. More recently he was the coach of Eintracht Frankfurt, but was fired earlier this year due to the team’s poor performance.

AFP/mw

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MUNICH

Four injured as WWII bomb explodes near Munich train station

Four people were injured, one of them seriously, when a World War II bomb exploded at a building site near Munich's main train station on Wednesday, emergency services said.

Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich.
Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Privat

Construction workers had been drilling into the ground when the bomb exploded, a spokesman for the fire department said in a statement.

The blast was heard several kilometres away and scattered debris hundreds of metres, according to local media reports.

Images showed a plume of smoke rising directly next to the train tracks.

Bavaria interior minister Joachim Herrmann told Bild that the whole area was being searched.

Deutsche Bahn suspended its services on the affected lines in the afternoon.

Although trains started up again from 3pm, the rail operator said there would still be delays and cancellations to long-distance and local travel in the Munich area until evening. 

According to the fire service, the explosion happened near a bridge that must be passed by all trains travelling to or from the station.

The exact cause of the explosion is unclear, police said. So far, there are no indications of a criminal act.

WWII bombs are common in Germany

Some 75 years after the war, Germany remains littered with unexploded ordnance, often uncovered during construction work.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about WWII bomb disposals in Germany

However, most bombs are defused by experts before they explode.

Last year, seven World War II bombs were found on the future location of Tesla’s first European factory, just outside Berlin.

Sizeable bombs were also defused in Cologne and Dortmund last year.

In 2017, the discovery of a 1.4-tonne bomb in Frankfurt prompted the evacuation of 65,000 people — the largest such operation since the end of the war in Europe in 1945.

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