After their 2-1 win over Holland saw them retain the Olympic title they won in Beijing, the Germans let off steam on the MS Deutschland in London’s West India Quay on August 11 in a party organised by a Berlin-based events firm.
The players are reported to have drained all the alcohol available onboard and pictures in the German media show the squad dousing each other with champagne while downing glasses of beer and smoking cigars.
Glass was broken during the party and the Germany Hockey Association apologised to the ship’s captain immediately afterwards, saying they would pick up the tab – until the bill grew to half a million euros.
The ship’s operators say damages included burns to the fine teak panelling on the Lido deck and broken glass where the 350 guests partied will cost 50,000 euros alone to repair.
It costs 75,000 euros for each day the ship is out of service and with the damage estimated to take up to six days to repair, the figure of 450,000 euros is a realistic estimate.
“This is a ship on a five-star level with very high quality materials, so damages can quickly become very expensive,” a spokeswoman for the ship’s owners told the Bild newspaper.
Now the German Hockey Association is bracing itself for the bill with questions being asked whether the body is legally responsible for the actions of its members.
“We have not received any written demands from the shipping company yet and we don’t see ourselves as being held responsible, but we will deal with this in a calm and objective manner,” said CEO Torsten Bartel.