BERLIN ( Associated Press) – Oliver Bierhoff is the first manager to be fired since Germany’s initial World Cup elimination after agreeing to step down as sporting director of the German national team and its academy.
The German Football Federation said on Monday that Bierhof had agreed to an early termination of his contract. The agreement expires after the 2024 European Championships.
Germany will host that tournament, but there are concerns with the team’s management after a second successive World Cup group stage exit and last year’s Euro second round exit.
Bierhoff has been part of the federation for 18 years, since becoming manager of the national team in 2004, two years after his last match for Germany. He took over as sporting director of the national team and academy in 2018 and was promoted again this year.
Federation president Bernd Neuendorff said in a statement, “Bierhof has done a great job.” “Even if he failed to score goals in recent tournaments, he had great moments. His work will always be linked to the success at the World Cup in Brazil.”
Bierhoff was credited for his key role in Germany’s 2014 World Cup victory, setting up the team’s camp at Campo Bahia, a resort in northeastern Brazil, where Joachim Löw nurtured a spirit of victory among the jubilant players. did.
But subsequent attempts to set up a similar camp failed to lead to the same result. Germany failed to clear their first hurdle at the 2018 World Cup as defending champions and have performed poorly since then.
“Over the past four years we have not been able to build on past success and give the fans something to celebrate. Some decisions that we were sure did not produce the right results,” Bierhoff said in a federation statement. accepted. “No one is as sorry as I am. I take responsibility.”
As a player, Bierhoff scored 37 goals in 70 appearances for Germany, including two as a substitute, as Germany beat the Czech Republic 2–1 in the Euro 1996 final.
The future of coach Hansi Fick is uncertain.