Germany sack coach Flick after Japan loss

AP , Sunday 10 Sep 2023

Germany removed Hansi Flick as coach of the men's national soccer team on Sunday, one day after a 4-1 loss to Japan deepened the gloom around the squad ahead of hosting next year's European Championship.

Germany s coach Hans-Dieter Flick waves as he arrives for the international friendly football match Germany v Belgium in Cologne, western Germany, on March 28, 2023. AFP


The German soccer federation, known as the DFB, said team director Rudi Völler would be one of three coaches taking joint charge of the next game, a friendly against France on Tuesday in Dortmund.

Germany hasn't won any of its last five games and was eliminated in the group stage at last year's World Cup. The home crowd jeered the team in Saturday's loss in Wolfsburg.

The 58-year-old Flick said after the loss to Japan that he wanted to stay as coach. Sunday's announcement came hours after he led the team in a public training session attended by fans.

Flick won the Champions League with Bayern Munich in 2020 and swapped the club for the German national team the following year. He started by winning all of his first eight games — without facing any of Europe’s top teams — but has just four wins from 17 matches since then.

Germany captain Ilkay Gündogan backed Flick to remain after the Japan game but said the team sorely lacked cohesion.

“A lot of our players, they are in a mental fight with themselves. There’s no confidence, there’s no understanding for the timing, for the right decisions on the pitch,” Gündogan told broadcaster beIN.

The interim coaching team faces a tough task against France. The French team has won all of its five Euro 2024 qualifiers without conceding a single goal since it lost the World Cup final on penalties to Argentina last year.

A likely permanent replacement could be Julian Nagelsmann. He was Flick’s successor at Bayern until the club replaced him with Thomas Tuchel in March. After the France game, Germany is next in action Oct. 14 against the United States and Mexico four days later.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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