Visit of Otto Rehhagel to the 2005 annual meeting of Sports Media Austria held in Bad Ischl.
It is a tradition that every year the annual meeting of Sports Media
Austria has a star guest. In the past it has been former
Formula-1-driver Niki Lauda (2000), “Kaiser” Franz Beckenbauer (2001),
Paul Breitner and Gerhard Berger (2002), Claudio Gentile (2003) and
outstanding referee Pierluigi Collina (in 2004).
This year we invited one of the most successful football coaches in the
World: Otto Rehhagel, coach to the European Champions Greece in 2004
and to the Bundesliga German champions Werder Bremen, where he worked
for about 14 years.
The Austrian Sports journalists had their meeting from May 22-25 in Bad
Ischl, a nice small city in the region of “Salzkammergut”, within
lakes and high mountains. This was the summer retreat of the Austrian
Imperator Franz Josef and his wife Sissy. As the Imperator City, it was
the ideal place to the Executive Committee of Sports Media Austria to
choose for the visit of “King Otto”. And Rehhagel came. One reason for
his visit was that we also invited two of Otto’s best friends: Andreas
Herzog, a former player of Werder Bremen and Austria’s Record holder in
National games; and Josef Hickersberger, coach of the Austrian soccer
champions Rapid Wien. Our Vice President Hans Hofstätter went to Munich
to pick up Rehhagel and his wife Beate. “When we came to St. Wolfgang,
Otto started to sing the ´Weißes Rössl´, a very famous song”,
More than 100 Austrian sport journalists and four TV-Teams came to the
press conference. And they heard some wonderful experiences from
Rehhagel, Herzog and Hickersberger.
Rehhagel explained the “wonder of Portugal”, when his Greek Team took
the European Title. He added: “ Forty years ago I married my wife Beate
– but after three months I did all she wanted!”
Andy Herzog told the story of when he had a chance to transfer from
Rapid to Bremen in 1992, Otto and Andy confirmed a meeting at the
Frankfurt Sheraton hotel. But Herzog had seen Rehhagel and his wife
before in the Airport Terminal.
Andy thought, as a friendly Viennese guy, he must say first “Hello” to
Beate Rehhagel. He did, and she asked him: “Nice to meet you. Are you a
fast player?” Herzog shocked: “Oh, no!” Then Beate asked: “Are you a
good header?” Herzog: “Oh my dear, absolutely NO!” He thought: “Before
I can talk to Otto, my chance to get a contract with Werder Bremen is
Rehhagel said how much he enjoyed the stay in Bad Ischl, and the
Austrian Sport Journalists enjoyed his stay with them. Otto has a great
personality. He likes the Austrian mentality, the landscape and people.
So he felt really happy even during those days when not everyone knew
who he was.
We gave Beate and Otto special presents - real Bad Ischl dresses!
The owner of the dress shop who was born in the same town, Essen as
Rehhagel, asked: “Which suit you will like, Mister REHFELDT”.
Well anyone can make a mistake!
At the Meeting the members of Sports Media Austria also elected a new
executive Committee. Michael Kuhn, following the death of Pepi Strabl
in 1997, was elected again for the next four years.
New on the committee is Robert Seeger, president of the AIJS
(Association des Journalistes Sportifs du Ski). Dr. Fritz Negrini, now
76 years of age and a former specialist for football, tennis and alpine
ski was made an honourary member of Sports Media Austria.
The actual composition of the Executive Comitee of Sports Media Austria is:
President: Michael Kuhn.
Vice Presidents: Hans Hofstätter,
Roland Knöppel, Elmar Oberhauser
First Treasurer: Norbert Wallauch
Second Treasurer: Günter Pfeistlinger
General secretary: Josef Langer
Second Secretary: Karin Klein
Members: Kristian Bissuti, Ossi Felber,
Adi Fürbacher, Stefan Grüneis, Robert Seeger, Franz Simonic, Michael Smejkal,
Fred Steinacher, Leo Strasser,
Finance control: Hans Etlinger, Rainer Fleckl, Hubert Potyka