Germany coach Loew suspended for quarter-final
Germany's coach is to be suspended for their next game, if a disciplinary body approves the decision
Vienna -- Germany coach Joachim Loew is suspended for his side's Euro 2008 quarter-final match against Portugal, Europe's governing body UEFA said on Tuesday.
The disciplinary code of the tournament states that any player or officials sent off is automatically suspended for one game (Article 9 of Disciplinary Regulations), in this case Thursday's knockout match in Basle, Switzerland.
UEFA director of communications William Gaillard told a press briefing in Vienna that the organization's disciplinary committee will be looking into the sending off of Loew on Wednesday.
Loew and his Austrian counterpart Josef Hickersberger were sent off during the first half of Monday's Group B game between Germany and Austria, which the three time champions won 1-0 to advance to the quarter-finals, while Austria were knocked out.
Loew protested his innocence and rather attacked the fourth match official for interfering all the time.
Gaillard said that the disciplinary body would receive statements from the two teams and the referee, and would then decide on Wednesday whether a suspension is justified or not. They could also increase the suspension.
"It is up to the disciplinary body to decide what evidence to take into consideration. The two coaches concerned could appeal any decision.
"If the suspension stands, UEFA would ask the world body FIFA to ban Hickersberger at Austria's first competitive match after the competition.
"If Loew's suspension stands, he would have no access to the players after they arrive at the stadium for their quarter-final against Portugal. He will not be allowed to communicate with the players at all in the stadium.
"He could though, participate in the pre- and post-match news conference."
He said that it was not uncommon for coaches to be sent to the stands: "What is uncommon is that both are sent off."
Loew said he had no explanation for the sending off and for his part issued sharp criticism on the fourth official Damir Skomina of Slovenia.
"I told him that my colleague (Hickersberger) and I wanted to work in peace in the coaching zone. From the start the fourth man almost every minute told me to sit down. He disturbed my concentration. The zone is there for the coach," insisted Loew.
"I did not insult the fourth official," Loew said. "I tried in several languages to tell him not to interfere. In the end I was a little more blunt."
Loew added that the fourth officials have become a growing pain for him over the past years.
"There have been growing problems with the fourth official in the last year or two. I want my freedom in the coaching zone," Loew insisted.
Also on Tuesday, UEFA spokesman Wolfgang Eichler said that the laying of the lawn in Basle, which had be be renewed after rain damaged the pitch, was to be completed by midday on Tuesday.
"We are not sure whether the two teams who will be playing in the stadium on Thursday, Germany and Portugal, will be allowed to train before the match. A decision on that will be taken this afternoon."
He said that a record number of fans had been in the fan zones in Vienna, with 120,000 people.
"In total we have had 2.2 million fans in the eight official fan zones," Eichler said.