Hanke's World Cup fears
By Thomas Zeh
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Germany shooting star Mike Hanke fears his World Cup dream is fading.
Germany shooting star Mike Hanke fears his chance to star at the World Cup next summer after Fifa banned him for two games following his red card in the Confederations Cup third-place play-off against Mexico.
The young striker was sent off during Germany's 4-3 extra time win for a rather ordinary looking challenge on Carlos Salcido and the world's governing football body has now decided that he will be suspended for two games.
As hosts of the World Cup, Jurgen Klinsmann's side do not need to play any official qualifying games and, therefore, the punishment means that Hanke is unavailable for Germany's first two group games - which certainly limits his chances of being selected for the tournament.
"I am stunned, it's really a tough verdict as I had initially expected a maximum suspension of a single game," declared the 21-year-old Wolfsburg striker, who had only just broke into Klinsmann's starting formation thanks to some encouraging performances at the Confederations Cup.
The suspension might limit Hanke's chances to make the cut for the World Cup, but it has not broken the spirit of the youngster.
"My motivation will only get stronger in order to succeed despite all the problems. Obviously it will be difficult [to make the squad], but now it's on me to play such an impressive season that the national coach has no other choice but picking me," stressed Hanke.
In the meantime, Klinsmann assistant Joachim Low made it clear that the verdict is a massive disadvantage for the World Cup hosts.
"It's crazy that a player is punished for such an incident one year later, we are ready to launch a protest," fumed Low.