Euro 2008: The websites - Poland & Germany
At the conclusion of tonight's Euro 2008 matches we will be exactly halfway through the group stages of the tournament, and with one co-host already eliminated, anything other than a victory against Poland tonight could see the same fate befall Austria in Group B. On Matchday 2 I reviewed the websites belonging to the Austrian and Croatian Football Associations, before their opening fixture in Vienna. Today I'm looking at the other two teams in the group who are all clustered around central Europe and who also clashed on Sunday - Poland and Germany.
The Polski Związek Piłki Nożnej have their website available in both Polish and English, and, for the very first time, they are covering the appearance of their nation in a European Championship Finals tournament. The Poles will qualify automatically as co-hosts in 2012, but for 2008 they made it to the finals for the first time under their own steam.
In English, at least, the news features on the site have a chatty informal feel to them, which is a contrast from the stuffy official language used by a lot of the FA sites that I have been reviewing. Take this example of a story about a gamble on the result of Poland's opening fixture:
"During his stay in Moscow for the Champions League final, Michał Listkiewicz, president of the Polish FA, made a bet with the famous Franz Beckenbauer. The stakes? A large beer. The bet? The end result of the Germany-Poland match at Euro 2008. The popular Kaiser didn’t want to accept the fact that this time around we plan on beating Germany in Klagenfurt. He was set on a 1:0 victory for Joachim Loew’s team. I’m betting on the same result but in our favor. I believe that on June 8th, the white-and-red will come out on top"
After the 2-0 victory, it seems that the canny Kaiser will have been enjoying the beer at the weekend.
There seems to be a great deal more content in the Polish language than there is in English. The Euro 2008 section in the native tongue looks very comprehensive.
If you want to find out about Polish plans for 2012, you need to speak Polish though, as the Euro 2012 section is only in one language.
Like many of the FA sites I have looked at, the Polish FA site was very low on interactivity. There was no RSS, and I didn't spot any forums, audio or videos. There was, however, a vote on the homepage for users.
As you'd expect from the EU's largest country, and one of the most successful European footballing nations of all time, the website of the Deutscher Fußball-Bund looks as if it has had plenty of money spent on it.
The site is available in English and German, and features a great deal of content, including DFB-TV, an online television channel for the national association which seems to cover the whole range of German football.
The video clips available included highlights of Germany's preparations for Euro 2008, as well as some more magazine style content.
Video clips available through the channel were carefully classified, and users could select to get an overview of all the clips from a specific category - including one devoted to Euro 2008 itself.
You'll also spot in that navigation something of a rarity in this set of reviews - a link to an RSS feed! The German FA do not have a news RSS feed on the rest of the site, but the DFB-TV subsite does have a feed listing the latest video clips to be added to the channel.
Elsewhere on the site Euro 2008 coverage in depth, with stadium and venue guides, as well as news about the other participating squads. The DFB is also the sponsor of an entirely separate fan guide site with details of how to get to and from the tournament. With it being so close to the German border, a lot of fans are expected to go.
The DFB site also has a 'Fan Zone', which I thought might be a hub of interactivity. However, although there are wallpapers and picture galleries to download, there is little in the way of interactivity - no votes and no forums for example.
I'll be returning to this series on Saturday, with my first look at the websites belonging to some of the teams in Group D, starting with Spain and Sweden.