Josef Hickersberger retires!
- Fearing the Faroe Islands?

June 23, 2008: International News

An interview with Austrian Josef Hickersberger that is supposed to be aired tomorrow (Tuesday, June 23), reveals that Hickersberger has decided to retire as coach for the Austrian national team.

The reason he gives for his decision is that he feels tired: "I am stopping. I feel empty and tired, I need to take a break and recharge the batteries", he told Austrian newspaper, der Standard.

But is the real reason maybe that he fears another meeting with the Faroe Islands?

The Faroe Islands take on Austria in a world cup qualifier on October 11.

It was on 12 September 1990 that the Faroe Islands in their first ever qualifier so famously beat Austria 1-0 and Hickersberger was fired as Austrian coach.

But Hickersberger was eventually "forgiven" and was in February 2006 re-appointed as Austrian coach, ahead of the EURO 08, staged on home soil and in Switzerland.

In the Faroes, it had been looked forward to another meeting with Hickersberger, and most Faroese had hoped that Austria would do well at the European championships, so that Hickersberger would still be coach when Austria visit the Faroes in October, 18 years after the wonder in Landskrona (The Faro Islands played their home matches in Sweden then, because there was no grass pitch in the Faroes).

But should Austria with Hickersberger in charge again fail to beat the Faroe Islands, it would become unbearable for the man, so most Faroese understand his decision to retire, although they regret it.

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