Euro 2004: Fresh setbackfor German football

1st July 2004, Comments 0 comments

1 July 2004 , FRANKFURT - Former Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund coach Ottmar Hitzfeld will not take over as new German coach from Rudi Voeller, who resigned following his side's early elimination at Euro 2004, the German football federation DFB confirmed Thursday. "This decision has been very, very difficult for me," said the 55-year-old Hitzfeld, who had been expected to accept the post and coach the national side at the 2006 World Cup, which will be hosted by Germany. "But at this time I'm not in th

1 July 2004

FRANKFURT - Former Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund coach Ottmar Hitzfeld will not take over as new German coach from Rudi Voeller, who resigned following his side's early elimination at Euro 2004, the German football federation DFB confirmed Thursday.

"This decision has been very, very difficult for me," said the 55-year-old Hitzfeld, who had been expected to accept the post and coach the national side at the 2006 World Cup, which will be hosted by Germany.

"But at this time I'm not in the condition necessary to help the national team prepare for the 2006 World Cup, not in the way I believe is absolutely necessary."

Hitzfeld, who left Bayern Munich at the end of the season and is free to begin a new job, was the overwhelming favourite to succeed Voeller.

He is Germany's most successful club coach highlighted by European Champions League titles with Bayern Munich in 2001 and Borussia Dortmund in 1997 and a total of six Bundesliga titles during his 12 years at the two clubs.

Hitzfeld went on to thank DFB President, Gerhard Mayer-Vorfelder, for the trust he has shown in him.

"I had a good talk and we had reached agreement on all the important points," said Hitzfeld, contradicting slightly the fact that he is not taking up the post.

Mayer-Vorfelder said he regretted Hitzfeld's decision but that he had to "respect it". Only 24 hours earlier, the DFB president had said that he was "personally of the opinion that he (Hitzfeld) is greatly interested in taking up the post".

The 71-year-old said later in the day that the new coach doesn't necessarily have to be German but that he must at least speak the language.

"It's my view that it is a basic requirement that the (future) coach must be able to speak fluent German," he said.

The DFB has scheduled a meeting of its 12-strong board for Monday in Frankfurt to discuss who should replace Voeller.

Top of the list will be Jupp Heynckes of Schalke 04, new Bayern Munich coach Felix Magath and new VfB boss Matthias Sammer who coached Dortmund last season.

Greece coach Otto Rehhagel had been mentioned as a possible successor after Voeller's resignation but the man who has led Greece to the semi-finals of Euro 2004, where they meet the Czech Republic later Thursday, has ruled himself out of the running for the post.

Fenerbahce Istanbul coach Christoph Daum, who was named as national coach after Euro 2000 but had to step down before taking up the post because of revelations of cocaine abuse is still considered an unacceptable candidate by the DFB.

Dutchman Guus Hiddink, who led South Korea to the last four at the 2002 World Cup and Arsenal's French coach Arsene Wenger have also been ruled out by the DFB's vice-president Engelbert Nelle as "unattainable".

Germany plays its next match on August 18 - a friendly international against Austria in Vienna - and it is believed the DFB would like, if possible, to have a new coach in position by then.

DPA

Subject: German news

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