DFB director Oliver Bierhoff has after the departure of the German national team at the World Cup in Qatar admitted that he and the DFB with the debate about the “One Love” bandage before Opening game against Japan (1:2) should have dealt with it differently. “We could have done it better without a doubt. Whether that is decisive for the elimination is another matter,” said the former national player in the ARD and added that the issue was “not an aspect” in the “sporting analysis” of the sobering tournament.
Despite an announcement to the contrary before the tournament, the DFB and other nations had under pressure from FIFA not to wear the bandage, which stands for tolerance and diversity, among other things. The debate about it had made waves before the start of the German tournament. The team ended up covering their mouths in the team photo before kick-off against Japan to protest the FIFA ban. An action that again caused discussions and moved the focus away from sport.
Bierhoff seemed annoyed when asked about the situation. “You can certainly discuss that at some point. But after three games that have taken place on the pitch, do you think that One Love armband has played such a big role?”he replied moderator Esther Sedlaczek, who repeatedly critically examined the role of the 54-year-old in the World Cup performance and who, after three disappointing tournament results in a row, also asked Bierhoff about any personal consequences.
“I’m not asking myself that question right now. Of course I know that such questions will come up. I’ve been here for 18 years – maybe you look at the entire balance sheet objectively. I’m not too worried about that and I have a very good feeling for me. But of course there are others who can rate it. In the case of three bad tournaments, I have no arguments that I can counter. I have to accept that,” said Bierhoff, who after the 4-2 against Costa Ricawhich in the end was not enough for the round of 16, was “shocked” according to its own statements.
“Obviously the disappointment is huge – and you can feel anger. Anger because – after watching the three games – I think it was in our hands to survive in this group. It started with the first game, which annoys me the most. We had Japan under control, the 20 minutes at the end cost us a lot,” said the manager during his sporting analysis. His anger is directed “at all of us,” Bierhoff explained: “We’re all in the same boat. It’s not about who’s to blame here? The players gave their all. But in the end you have to realize that it’s just not enough.”
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