German camp plays down Eurozone talk ahead of Greek clash in quarters

Jun 19, 2012, 07:48 IST | AFP

Germany's Euro 2012 quarter-final against Greece is being billed as the battle of the two nations at the heart of the Eurozone crisis, but the Germans have insisted politics will play no role

Friday’s quarter-final clash at Arena Gdansk has the added backdrop of the on-going financial crisis. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has provoked anger in Greece for leading the calls on Athens to impose tough austerity measures in return for financial assistance from Germany to help to bring down debt.

Germany confirmed their place against Greece with a 2-1 win in Lviv over Denmark on Sunday as right-back Lars Bender marked his first start for the Germans with his first international goal.

Bayer Leverkusen star Bender (23) said: “There were elections in Greece yesterday and the fact they have got through to the knock-out stage is fantastic for the Greek people. It makes them forget, if even for a few minutes, the hard times they are going through. But I think on match-day, politics won't play such a big role and that is what counts.”

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