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News in brief

Alaba declines Austria call-up

David Alaba is still in the recovery phase after a serious knee injury and has elected not to represent Austria in an imminent Euro 2016 qualifier. Instead, he will delay his comeback until the new season with FC Bayern. “The game against Russia comes just a little too early for me,” said the Austrian Sports Personality of the Year. The 22-year-old ruptured a ligament in his left knee in a friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina on 31 March and only resumed training with his club last week. “His current state of recovery and our responsibility towards David have ultimately led to us agreeing that this is the best solution for him,” commented Austria coach Marcel Koller.

Promoted Darmstadt all set for Bayern

Minnows FC Ingolstadt are the German second division champions, and they will be joined in the top flight by rank outsiders SV Darmstadt 98, who return to the Bundesliga after a 33-year absence in one of the greatest promotion shocks in the league’s history. “We’ll probably only realise what’s happened when Arjen Robben ties our legs into seven knots next season,” quipped midfielder Florian Jungwirth.