Germany footballers arrive home from Iceland after 14-hour trip
Following a 14-hour journey, the German football team arrived in Frankfurt on Thursday after the plane returning them from a World Cup qualifier in Iceland had to make an unexpected landing in Edinburgh.
Germany cruised to a 4-0 win in Reykjavik on Wednesday to go four points clear at the top of their qualifying group.
However, some of the squad endured an odyssey on the flight home after their plane developed a technical problem and had to detour to Edinburgh airport, leading to a lengthy delay.
Having initially left the Icelandic capital just after midnight on Thursday morning, the squad touched down at 1530 local time (1330GMT).
“Landed in Frankfurt, some of the squad heading directly now to Munich,” the German Football Association (DFB) tweeted on Thursday afternoon.
A spokeswoman for Lithuanian charter airline KlasJet told AFP subsidiary SID that a possibly defective power generator on the plane was behind the unplanned stopover on the flight from Iceland.
After landing in Scotland, the plane was checked over, but the players faced a long wait while a replacement aircraft flew to Edinburgh to bring them home.
DFB co-interim president Rainer Koch said “it was neither a spectacular nor an emergency landing. You couldn’t be scared at all because the announcement came just before landing that there was going to be a stop for maintenance.
“I was just surprised that I could suddenly see the houses so clearly.”
According to reports not all of the squad were on board.
Germany captain Manuel Neuer, Serge Gnabry and Joshua Kimmich had opted to take a separate morning flight back to their club Bayern Munich.
Premier League players Timo Werner, Ilkay Guendogan, Antonio Ruediger, Bernd Leno and Kai Havertz had also returned to their English clubs.
Bayern stars Niklas Suele, Leroy Sane, Jamal Musiala and Leon Goretzka were all on the affected flight, two days before a crunch Bundesliga game at RB Leipzig.
“Of course it is not a good thing that the boys had a longer journey home,” said Bayern sports director Hasan Salihamidzic.
“That interferes with regeneration, but they are all professionals and will be okay by Saturday.”