Euro 2004 plunges German football into crisis
6 July 2004
FRANKFURT – A national team search committee has been set up and another one to avoid a leadership crisis as the battered German football federation aims to avoid chaos ahead of the 2006 home World Cup.
DFB chief Gerhard Mayer-Vorfelder will team up with national icon Franz Beckenbauer, DFB general secretary Horst R. Schmidt and league boss Werner Hackmann to find a successor for retired coach Rudi Voeller within the next two weeks.
The second, yet to be named, committee will try to avoid a head-on collision between beleaguered boss Mayer-Vorfelder and challenging treasurer Theo Zwanziger at the DFB assembly’s vote on 25-26 October on the DFB president.
The decisions were made at a marathon DFB board meeting which lasted until early Tuesday morning.
The DFB is out to avoid a leadership crisis that would cast a shadow over final preparations for the 2006 World Cup, which is to be played in Germany.
The World Cup is also an important factor in finding a coach who has the class to reshape the national team into a title contender in 2006.
Voeller resigned after four years on the job after Germany’s first-round exit at Euro 2004.
The number 1 candidate to take over, the ex-Dortmund and Munich coach Ottmar Hitzfeld, then rejected the job stating mental exhaustion.
Now Otto Rehhagel, who steered Greece to a stunning Euro 2004 title appears to be the favourite although he has extended his deal in Greece until 2008.
“One can not ignore a coach who is as successful as Rehhagel. Rehhagel has had so much success and can prepare a team so well that he has to be a factor,” said DFB vice-president Hans-Georg Moldenhauer after the meeting.
Moldenhauer said that the board “intensively discussed the candidates” on Monday and that the commission will try to find the right man who would debut in an August 18 friendly in Austria.
Germany’s Bild daily on Tuesday again screamed for Rehhagel while the Hamburger Abendblatt daily said that the DFB had also inquired about the availability of Frenchman Arsene Wenger, who took Arsenal to an undefeated Premier League title last year.
The committee was set up Monday night after Mayer-Vorfelder came under heavy fire for his initial solo effort and information blackout in the search for a new trainer.
Mayer-Vorfelder’s inclusion is seen as an effort to allow the 71- year-old former VfB Stuttgart boss to save face over the issue.
The same could apply if the other commission finds out that he will not get a majority of votes to win another term as head of the world’s largest single sports federation with more than 6 million members.
Mayer-Vorfelder was on Monday unable to convince Zwanziger not to run for DFB president in the meeting. Moldenhauer revealed that the formation of the committee was at least partly based on the agreement “not to harm anyone”.
Zwanziger said in a radio interview Tuesday that he had been loyal to Mayer-Vorfelder over the past three years but will now run for the presidency to give the DFB members an alternative to Mayer- Vorfelder’s autocratic rule.
“I realised that his way of leadership didn’t only win him friends in a democratic federation,” Zwanziger told Deutschlandradio.
Subject: German news