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England returns home

[ 2010-06-30 11:48]     字号 [] [] []  
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England's downcast soccer team arrived back home on Tuesday after crashing out of the World Cup against archrival Germany.

The players, many of whom were dressed in official England team suits, flew into London's Heathrow airport about 6:20 am (0520 GMT) and appeared weary as they walked across the tarmac to waiting cars.

They were led off the plane by David Beckham, who didn't play because of injury, and followed by an entourage of wives, girlfriends and children back to what is likely to be a hostile public and press in Britain following their underwhelming performance in South Africa.

England manager Fabio Capello is waiting to hear from the Football Association whether he can keep his job.

The Italian says he wants to stay on but must wait two weeks while officials decide if he can complete his contract, which runs until 2012.

Under Capello's original contract, the FA would have been able to end their relationship with him after the tournament without having to pay him substantial compensation.

The Italian also had an option to walk away but the break clause was removed just before the World Cup against a background of interest from Inter Milan in securing the coach's services.

If the FA do decide to dispense with Capello's services it could cost them as much as 12 million pounds. Capello, England manager since January 2008, remained tight-lipped as he arrived at his London home where he found television crews waiting for him. "I have time to decide, I have to speak with the chairman," Capello said.

England, who has not won the World Cup since lifting the trophy for the only time in its history on home soil in 1966, was widely expected to reach the quarterfinals at the very least.

But they failed to top a group labeled "EASY" (England, Algeria, Slovenia and Yanks - the United States) by Britain's biggest-selling Sun newspaper.

Meanwhile, England fans sought solace in black humour.

Among the jokes doing the rounds on e-mail were: "What's the difference between Cinderella and the England football team? Cinderella wanted to get to the ball" and "I can't believe we only managed a draw against a team we should have easily beaten ... I'm ashamed to call myself Algerian."

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

England returns home

About the broadcaster:

England returns home

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.