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'Merkel to miss Germany-Spain match'

Chancellor Angela Merkel will not be in South Africa to see the German side battle against Spain for a slot in the soccer World Cup final, a spokesman said on Monday.

sports Updated: Jul 05, 2010 21:40 IST

Chancellor Angela Merkel will not be in South Africa to see the German side battle against Spain for a slot in the soccer World Cup final, a spokesman said on Monday.

Merkel's busy work schedule will keep her from cheering on the German side in Durban during their semi-final match against the European Champions on Wednesday, deputy government spokesman Christoph Steegmans said.

"The chancellor resumed work on Monday and the week is so jammed with meetings that her presence at the semi-final will not be possible," he told a regular press briefing.

The 55-year-old chancellor watched Saturday's 4-0 thrashing of Argentina from the stands in Cape Town as the vibrant young Mannschaft joined the final four teams.

After the match, Merkel "had a personal conversation with the German team" in which she "expressed her recognition and great delight and wished them good luck for their next match," Steegmans said.

He said it was not immediately clear whether Merkel would attend the final in Johannesburg on Sunday if Germany advances.