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By ESPN Staff
Nov 11, 2009

Germany call off Chile friendly

Germany have called off their friendly with Chile in Cologne on Saturday following the suicide of goalkeeper Robert Enke.

Enke, who had been suffering from depression, was struck by a regional train travelling between Norddeich and Hanover at a railway crossing in Neustadt am Rubenberge and died at the scene.

The 32-year-old Hannover keeper had only recently recovered a mysterious bacterial infection and had been omitted from the squad for their upcoming friendlies against Chile and the Ivory Coast next Wednesday.

The German FA confirmed the news of the cancellation on their official website.

"It is absolutely true that we have cancelled the Chile match," said manager Joachim Loew. "No one feels able to move in this situation simply business as usual. We have lost a friend. This is a moment in which one must also stop in football. We grieve deeply for Robert Enke.''

DFB president Dr Theo Zwanziger said: "We have all agreed that we cannot play the game on Saturday against Chile. We apologise for any inconvenience that this decision causes but there is no alternative."

A tearful Oliver Bierhoff, the team manager, said: ''The team want to say goodbye to Robert. It could have been a goodbye game, but there is a clear feeling that it would come too early.''

Hannover's director of sport, Jorg Schmadtke, had the unenviable task of informing Enke's team-mates of the tragedy on Tuesday evening.

''We are deeply affected,'' he said. ''Our sympathy goes out to his family. We have lost an exceptional sportsman and person who has left behind a huge void in Hannover and German football.''

The German Football League (DFL) have announced a minute's silence will be held at every ground in Germany ahead of the next round of Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga matches, with all players wearing black armbands.

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