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Embattled Loew to stay on as Germany coach

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Germany’s coach Joachim Loew (centre) and players attend a training session at La Cartuja stadium in Seville on November 17, on the eve of the Uefa Nations League football match between Spain and Germany in Seville. AFP

Embattled Loew to stay on as Germany coach

Joachim Loew will remain in charge of Germany for next year’s delayed European Championship despite a series of poor recent results, the German football federation (DFB) announced on November 30.

“In a conference call, the DFB presidential board unanimously agreed to unequivocally back the direction of Germany coach Joachim Loew in his efforts to rebuild the national team, which have been ongoing since March 2019,” the DFB said in a statement, following a meeting with Loew and the federation’s top officials.

Loew, 60, has been in charge of the Germany team since taking over from Jurgen Klinsmann following the 2006 World Cup.

He led the nation to a fourth world title, and first since reunification, in Brazil in 2014 when the Germans defeated Lionel Messi’s Argentina in the final.

However, Germany are in crisis following a 6-0 defeat to Spain on November 17 and recent draws with Switzerland, twice, and Turkey.

The recent hammering by Spain, Germany’s heaviest loss in 89 years, capped a poor three-year spell, which included an embarrassing group-stage exit at the 2018 World Cup in Russia after which the DFB gave Loew their backing.

Loew has made some controversial decisions since the debacle in Russia, none more so than the one to end the international careers of World Cup winners Thomas Mueller, Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels.

The DFB’s 14-member presidential committee had initially been due to meet on December 4 to determine Loew’s fate.

However, the group brought its decision forward, following the “recommendation of the presidential committee and of national teams and academy director Oliver Bierhoff”, the DFB added.

“The DFB presidential board was in agreement that key sporting goals have already been achieved in the run-up to the European Championship in 2021,” the statement read.

“These include qualifying for the tournament, remaining in League A of the Nations League, and being placed in the first pot for World Cup qualification.

“As a result of this, Joachim Loew will continue to receive the backing of the DFB presidential board.”

Loew held crisis talks with DFB president Fritz Keller in Munich earlier this month following Germany’s worst loss since a 6-0 friendly defeat by Austria in 1931.

In a survey commissioned by AFP subsidiary SID after the Seville humiliation, 84 per cent of 1,100 German fans asked wanted Loew and Bierhoff to step aside.

Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp and Bayern Munich boss Hansi Flick, Loew’s assistant coach at the 2014 World Cup, were the candidates German fans most wanted to see take over.

However, the DFB’s chief decision-makers were reassured by Loew’s pitch that he was still the right man to lead the team.

“In the meeting, Loew informed the members present about his assessments, ideas, and plans for the future,” the DFB statement continued.

“The members of the presidential committee concluded that the most important aspects are high-quality work on the part of coaching staff, the relationship between the team and the coach, and a clear outline of the current and future plan of action.

It added: “The performance of the national team and of the coach cannot and must not be judged off the back of one single match.

“Attention now turns to next year’s continued preparations for the European Championship. Despite a challenging situation for all, there is a firm belief that Joachim Loew and his coaching team will deliver positive results.”

While Loew is under contract until the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, his position could again come under scrutiny at the Euros, which were postponed by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Germany have been drawn in a tough group at the finals with defending champions Portugal, World Cup holders France and Hungary.

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