Rummenigge must sort out struggling German football, says Hoeness

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By Oliver Trust

BERLIN, March 26 (Xinhua) — Former Bayern president Uli Hoeness accused the German Football Association’s management of damaging the country’s reputation.

The 69-year-old demanded departing Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is appointed as the association’s representative on the UEFA and FIFA international boards.

“What we are currently seeing is power games. German football can’t continue in this way,” Hoeness said in his temporary role as a TV pundit for three games, starting with Germany’s 2022 World Cup qualifier against Iceland (3-0).

Hoeness called the current struggles a tragedy. He accused several members of the association of having limited association president Fritz Keller’s competencies to secure their influence.

“The association must re-structure its leadership shortly, or we will see an ongoing downfall of German football,” he added.

The 1974 world champion demanded a long-term solution for the national coach’s job. “We can’t afford to rely on a temporary solution to wait for someone who isn’t available at present,” the former striker said.

Hoeness refers to the association’s attempt to find a successor for Joachim Loew, who announced his departure after this summer’s European Championship after 15 years in charge.

Candidates such as Liverpool coach Juergen Klopp and Bayern coach Hansi Flick don’t seem available due to contracts until 2023.

Hoeness said several association officials such as vice president Rainer Koch and general secretary Friedrich Curtius “were not able to manage the situation.”

He attacked the association’s plans to appoint Koch and former Schalke finance director Peter Peters for the country’s seat on the international UEFA and FIFA boards.

The German association is suffering from a power struggle and is facing several tax proceedings. “We have seen tax investigators entering the association’s headquarter as often as the postman,” Hoeness commented.

The Bayern board member’s attacks come along with growing unrest among leading Bundesliga clubs who have expressed their disapproval with the association’s state.

Lately, league president Christian Seifert left association boards due to the turmoil.

“Karl-Heinz Rummenigge can rely on a wealth of international expertise and experience. He is also the ideal person to represent German interests. He enjoys the greatest respect on all levels and can count on an extensive network,” Hoeness said.

Rummenigge was the European Club Association’s chairman from 2008 to 2017.

Hoeness demanded intense efforts from the German league and the association to support amateur clubs’ academy programs suffering from restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We need to set up a fund to secure the survival of amateur clubs as several thousand youngsters have already stopped playing football as training and games were suspended many months ago,” he said.

German football can’t afford to lose an entire generation as difficulties in talent finding are already apparent. “We can’t do without a well-oiled amateur basis.” Enditem

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