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Exclusive from Sochi: Drinking problems cost Austria quarters?

Foto: Blurry vision / Sport1.de/Screenshot Foto: Blurry vision / Sport1.de/Screenshot
Well, you live and learn. Anyone who was up early enough for the first qualifier for the quarterfinals today across the Atlantic River had a hard time getting up. Some Austrian players, apparently, had the same issues. KHL.hr obtained information “live and direct” from Krasnaya Polyana which suggests a massive scandal prior to their 0:4 loss against Slovenia. A scandal that will likely see many heads in Austrian Hockey team roll. Matjaz Kopitar’s team was dubbed the 'inferior opposition' by many Austrian fans and pundits alike after Austria’s surprise win against Norway. If only they had known of their players’ pre-match behavior. 

Our source in Krasnaya Polyana stated that “36 hours away from the biggest game in the country’s history, some players were hardly able to talk at 2:30.” And that was only the start of it all on Sunday night: Moving on to the “Sky”-Bar, some of the players (we’re not naming names because we want to protect the players and our multiple sources) drank until 4:00 or even 6:00 in the morning. The first part of the show went down in the “Austria Tyrol Haus”, which beckons the question: Why were they served there as long as they were in the first place? 

The second part of the night was spent out of the Austrian authorities’ control, which begs the question: Where was the leadership? Why did no one stop them? A head coach, one of two assistant coaches, a director of sports, a president of the federation or anyone else in a position of authority? (Note: We’re obviously not blaming waiters or others who merely did their jobs. It’s not on them to stop grown-ups from drinking – rather the opposite) All these people travel to Sochi to ensure the best professional behavior and performance. From an Austrian perspective, it’s quite a shame that a Slovenian team can manage this, while the Austrian team couldn’t.

Anyone who knows Team Slovenia’s leadership will confirm to you that something like that would never happen on Matjaz Kopitar’s watch. So, that’s the difference between winning and failure, quarterfinal and scandal.
 
 
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