Friday, June 13, 2008
Free Beer for Life Offer Rejected by Austrian Soccer Bosses
Ivica Vastic should be one of the happiest men on the planet today. He may still be, but just not quite as happy as he could be.
Vastic plays for Austria's national soccer team competing in the Euro 2008 Championships. Austria is not a huge soccer power, they're ranked 92nd in the world, but they are co-hosts for the tournament with Switzerland. This is the first time the country has played in the European championship finals. On Thursday, Vastic attained national hero status, scoring on a penalty kick during injury time and allowing Austria to draw 1-1 with Poland.
Ottakringer Brauerei of Vienna made a promise going into the tournament to provide a lifetime supply of free beer to any Austria player who scored a goal for the team in its first round matches against Coatia, Poland and Germany. Austria lost to Croatia 1-0 to open the tournament.
But before Vastic could have that first celebratory free beer, Austria's top soccer official has pulled the plug on the Ottakringer offer. "We don't need such type of motivation. We need three points against Poland, but we definitely need no beer belly," said Alfred Ludwig, secretary general of the Austrian Football Association, in several media reports.
It's not that Ludwig has anything against beer. Stiegl Brewery already supports Austrian soccer and the company also distributes Carlsberg, which is the official beer of Euro 2008. There's no word on whether Stiegl or Carlsberg plans to step forward and at least buy Vastic a round for his game saving goal.