Tuesday, June 22, 2010

World Cup Turning into Debacle for Top European Teams

English embarrassment, French farce and German angst -- so far Europe's top footballing nations aren't covering themselves in glory at the World Cup. The next two days will decide whether South Africa 2010 will enter into the history books as a debacle for European football.

This has been a difficult World Cup for many of Europe's top national teams which are either underperforming woefully like England, struggling like Italy, Germany and Spain, or descending into outright chaos like France.

If Germany, which lost 1-0 to Serbia last Friday, fails to beat Ghana in its final group match on Wednesday night and is forced out of the tournament, it wouldn't only be surprising upset -- it could also trigger the immediate resignation of trainer Joachim "Jogi" Löw.

Bild newspaper cited unnamed people close to Löw as saying the coach would quit immediately and take full responsibility for Germany's first ever first-round exit from a World Cup.

"The burden for the future would be too great," Bild quoted a person close to Löw as saying. Löw's assistant coaches Hansi Flick and Andreas Köpke would not receive new contracts. Neither would team manager Oliver Bierhoff, who wasn't expected to stay on anyway after the World Cup following a disagreement with the German Football Association, the DFB, during contract negotiations in January.

The most likely successor to Löw would be Matthias Sammer, a former player for the East German national team and then the unified German national team until 1997.

To read more: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,701904,00.html

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