Germany stick with under-fire Joachim Löw as coach

December 01, 2020
In this Tuesday, October 13, 2020 file photo, Germany’s head coach, Joachim Loew(SPELLING), reacts during the UEFA Nations League match against Switzerland in Cologne, Germany.
In this Tuesday, October 13, 2020 file photo, Germany’s head coach, Joachim Loew(SPELLING), reacts during the UEFA Nations League match against Switzerland in Cologne, Germany.

BERLIN (AP):

The German football federation is sticking with Joachim Low as coach of the national team despite the 6-0 loss to Spain.

The federation said yesterday that its management agreed in a conference call that Low, who has been in charge since taking over after the 2006 World Cup, should "unreservedly continue" with the team.

"A single game cannot and must not be a yardstick for the general performance of the national team and the national coach," the federation said, referring to the match against Spain in the Nations League on November 17.

The federation's top officials, including President Fritz Keller and Vice-President Rainer Koch, met with Low and national team director Oliver Bierhoff on Monday morning.

The federation said Low informed the members of the executive committee of his assessments, ideas and plans for the European Championship, which was postponed until next year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Germany were drawn into a tough group with France, Portugal and Hungary for Euro 2020, which will be held in June 2021.

Low led Germany to the World Cup title in 2014, but his reputation took a hit following the team's poor title defence in Russia and no clear upward trend since.

Low dropped stalwarts Thomas Muller, Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng, but their younger replacements have failed to live up to expectations and the team has been prone to costly mistakes.

Experienced trio

The decision not to recall the experienced trio has been criticised by former players such as Bastian Schweinsteiger and Lothar Matthaus.

Despite Nations League victories over a Ukraine team weakened by coronavirus infections, Germany also conceded late equalisers in 1-1 draws against Spain and Switzerland in September. Turkey scored in injury time for a 3-3 draw in their friendly in October.

Low has been in charge for 189 games with a contract until after the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. A lack of available replacements may have helped the federation maintain faith in the 60-year-old former Freiburg striker.

Low has also received support from Bundesliga clubs like Bayern Munich and Leipzig for opting to give their players a rest for friendly games amid the hectic schedule caused by coronavirus-induced postponements.

Low chalked up the loss to Spain as an isolated failure.

"When everyone is healthy, our team is very dangerous, even if it's young and inexperienced," Low said in Seville.

The federation apparently agrees.

"There is a firm conviction that Joachim Low and his coaching team will deliver successful games and results despite a challenging situation for everyone. The coach will take all the necessary steps for an exciting 2021 European Championship," the federation said in its statement.

"We agree with the coach's assessment that the following tournaments must already play a role in perspectives and sporting goals - namely, the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and the 2024 European Championship in our own country."

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