Secrecy surrounds Ballack’s upcoming nuptials

Michael Ballack, German national football team captain and Chelsea midfielder, is to marry his long-time partner and hold a wedding reception next week at a yacht club at Bavaria’s Lake Starnberg. But the club isn’t providing any details.

Secrecy surrounds Ballack’s upcoming nuptials
Photo: DPA

“No comment“ is the answer reporters get to just about any question posed to officials, advisors or Michael Ballack’s office about the football star’s wedding, be it the date, the location or the party afterward. However, residents of the town of Starnberg, at the foot of the German alps, say the fact that Ballack will hold his wedding reception at the exclusive boating club is an open secret.

Some 400 guests are due to attend the reception, expected to take place July 14-15, according to the the Munich newspaper tz.

Ballack and his partner, 30-year-old Simone Lambe, who have known each other for 10 years and have three children, will probably wed in Munich, reported the DPA news agency. They applied for a marriage licence before the European football championships in June.

Media reports have speculated for days about the details. Apparently, the bachelor party will take place Monday evening, and the reception on the following day. However, yacht club manager Ilja Wolf won’t confirm details.

“There are lots of things in the papers,“ he told the DDP news agency, adding that he’d rather see his club written about in the sailing magazines than showing up in the gossip pages, where it has mostly been over the last couple of weeks.

Christian Herrmann, 43, who manages a swimming pool near the yacht club, isn’t that worried about fans and reporters posing as swimmers just so they can get a glimpse of the goings-on next door, since part of the club is visible from his facility.

“Maybe we’ll open everything up for a half hour or so and let people in to take their pictures, he told DDP.

For Starnberg residents, celebrities are old hat, since they’re often seen on the town‘s quaint streets. Ballack, his partner Simone Lambe and their three sons lived in the area before he transfered to Chelsea in 2006.

The restaurant next to the yacht club was frequented by Ballack, described as “a really nice guy“ by one employee. She’s expecting a bit of a commotion early next week, but says she doesn’t mind.

“It’ll bring us more business,“ she told DDP.


Spain thrown out of 2023 Rugby World Cup

Spain have been thrown out of the 2023 Rugby World Cup for fielding an ineligible South African-born player during the qualifying stages and will be replaced by Romania, World Rugby announced on Thursday.

Spain thrown out of 2023 Rugby World Cup

“Subject to Spain’s right of appeal, the 10-point deduction applied to the Rugby World Cup 2023 qualification table means that Romania will qualify as Europe 2 into Pool B replacing Spain,” read the statement.

Portugal — who Spain beat to seal their place in the global showpiece in France next year — replace Romania in the Final Qualification Tournament taking place in November 2022.

“Spain has a right of appeal within 14 days of the date of the full written decision of the committee,” read the statement.

According to Spanish media in March, the player under investigation was South African-born prop Gavin van den Berg, who has been playing in Spain since 2018.

He played twice against the Netherlands, in 2020 and 2021, in qualifiers, but he may not seemingly have served the three years of residency needed to become eligible under World Rugby rules.

Spain, Romania and Belgium were all sanctioned in 2018 for having fielded ineligible players, opening the way for Russia to qualify for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.