Fear of Spiders and Snakes: The World Cup Experience in Australia

2023-07-14 21:30:15

By: Robert Schreier (currently in Australia) and Erik Peters

Our soccer players are not afraid of the World Cup opponents – but they are all the more afraid of the animals in Australia. Before things get really serious on the pitch, one thing dominates the team hotel in Wyong: spiders and snakes!

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Curious scenes take place in the Hotel Kooindah Waters. Some players duel in teqball (soccer on a table tennis table). “Then the ball falls into a bush full of snakes,” says midfielder Sydney Lohmann (23) to BILD. “I’m not in there.” Striker Alexandra Popp (32), a trained zoo keeper, had to help. “In something like that, the captain is welcome to lead the way,” says Lohmann with a wink.

And even in the rooms sheer fear reigns. “I got nervous when I saw so much green on arrival. When I entered the room, I immediately looked behind the curtains, under the covers and under the bed. I checked the whole room for spiders. Luckily I didn’t find anything, so I could sleep peacefully,” says Merle Frohms (28).

The goalkeeper has been struggling with her fear of spiders for a long time. She tells BILD: “I regularly have nightmares about large, hairy spiders, that they are in my room or walk over me. I then startle up, jump out of my bed and first have to orientate myself. As long as it’s a dream, it’s okay. It would be stupid if that became a reality in Australia.”

Frohms shares a bungalow with the second player, who suffers from a severe spider phobia: Sara Doorsoun (31). The defense attorney told BILD: “I’m really scared of spiders, you can call it a phobia. The problem is, my mom told me that killing spiders is bad luck and I generally don’t want to kill any animals. But they have to get out of the room.” So every corner is searched.

If there are problems, Captain Popp helps – or the national coach. “The most venomous spider in the world is here. But unlike other women, I’m not one who runs away screaming when a spider appears,” says Martina Voss-Tecklenburg (55).

Our women are here! Flight chaos for our World Cup girls

Source: PICTURE 07/13/2023

By the way: If something should happen, the hotel is well equipped with every antiserum against snake and spider bites.

Whether that calms our anxious footballers is rather questionable…

Doping control in the DFB hotel

Yesterday, the national team received a surprise visit from Fifa and the anti-doping agency Nada. After lunch, some players, including Captain Popp, had to give a rehearsal. Nada checks all World Cup participants during unannounced visits – even during the tournament.

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