Germany FA axe team director following disastrous World Cup as inquiries continue

Germany have sacked sporting director Oliver Bierhoff after their dismal World Cup campaign.

The Germans were dumped out in the group stages for the second time in as many tournaments after picking up just four points from three games that included a shock defeat to Japan. Victory over Costa Rica in their final outing wasn’t enough and they exited on goal difference.

A period of reflection is now taking place with Bierhoff the first major casualty. The 54-year-old, who scored his country’s winner at Euro 96, had been involved with the national team set-up since 2004, taking up his most recent role in 2018. However the DFB have now relieved him of his duties, citing the poor results in Qatar.

DFB president Bernd Neuendorf said in a statement: “Oliver Bierhoff has been of incredible service to the DFB. Even though we have fallen short of expectations on the pitch in recent tournaments, he has been behind big moments. His work will forever be intertwined with our World Cup triumph in Brazil. Even in turbulent times, he always followed his goals and visions and has helped shape the DFB in a sustainable manner.”

Germany have been on a downward spiral since their World Cup success eight years ago. They reached the semi-finals at Euro 2016, but in the three tournaments since have been knocked out in the groups twice and made the last 16 once, which prompted a change in the dugout.

The World Cup was Hansi Flick’s first major tournament, but such disappointing results have left the former Bayern Munich boss’ position under threat. Flick claimed the treble at the Allianz Arena and began his German spell impressively, but results have tailed off in recent months.

Germany's World Cup was over by the group stages

Germany’s World Cup was over by the group stages
FIFA via Getty Images)

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German legend Lotthar Matthaus has hit out at Bierhoff and the country’s FA over their approach to the One Love armband saga, which was a major talking point in Qatar. He told Sky Sports Germany: “Oliver Bierhoff is of course responsible because he couldn’t handle the pressure and unrest from the outside. Not only him, but the president and the people in charge at the DFB – they all let the coach and the team down. I hope the DFB will speak honestly about their mistakes.

“I think of President Neuendorf, who criticized everything here in Doha before the World Cup and then I see him during the game sitting in the stands next to Gianni Infantino and smiling at the camera for 3 minutes. The players notice that, they’re put under pressure to set an example and protest, but then they see the people who are demanding it smiling in front of the camera.”

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