...Bad news for Germany

German players have been left in a state of shock when two people were struck and injured by one of the cars at a sponsor's driving event, team manager Oliver Bierhoff said yesterday.

A 63-year-old German tourist and a local man hired as a course marshal were taken to hospital on Tuesday afternoon, after being hit in the driving event staged by team sponsors Mercedes at Germany's pre-World Cup camp in Italy.

Germany internationals Julian Draxler and Benedikt Hoewedes were passengers in the vehicles driven by German Touring Car (DTM) driver Pascal Wehrlein, who hit the two men, and Formula 1 driver Nico Rosberg.

Said Bierhoff: "Most of the players were resting and some were playing golf with (former world No. 1) Martin Kaymer at the time.

"Draxler and Hoewedes were the two who experienced it and were extremely affected by it. Four more were waiting to take part in the event when they heard of the accident."

The tourist suffered more serious injuries than the local man, who had attempted to remove him from the course, but no further details of their condition were made available.

"Draxler and Hoewedes had the need to talk about it afterwards," Bierhoff added.

"We immediately made our sports psychologist available, who talked with both the drivers and the players."

Bierhoff revealed he and the drivers had visited the injured men in hospital.

The Germans have been preparing for next month's World Cup in Brazil at an Alpine hotel since last week. - Reuters.