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Friday, 23 June, 2000, 16:06 GMT 17:06 UK
Germany hold fire on coach
Giovanni Trapattoni
Trapattoni is tipped to take over from Ribbeck
German football chiefs will not rush into naming a replacement for Erich Ribbeck, though Giovanni Trapattoni is favourite to take over.

Following a meeting on Friday, the German Soccer Federation announced that vice-president Gerhard Mayer-Vorfelder would lead the search for a new coach following the country's worst tournament showing in more than half a century.

And a German football federation spokesman said the hunt could take some time.

"The spectrum is open. We are not going to name names, neither positively nor negatively," spokesman Wolfgang Niersbach confirmed.

"The new man will be on the bench at the latest on August 16 in Hanover for our friendly against Spain."


Former Bayern Munich and Juventus coach Trapattoni is tipped to succeed Ribbeck after Bayer Leverkusen boss Christoph Daum, an early favourite, ruled himself out of contention due to club commitments.

Trapattoni, a master tactician who recently quit as coach of Fiorentina, won the backing of Bayern Munich chairman and former national coach Franz Beckenbauer.

Lothar Matthaus, who has now retired from international soccer, is also a fan of the 61-year-old Italian.

"He's my choice," said Matthaus, adding Trapattoni would "polish up" the dented image of German soccer.

Erich Ribbeck
Ribbeck: paid the price of a poor Euro 2000
Another option is Jupp Heynckes, another former Bayern Munich coach who is currently working at Portugal's Benfica.

But Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has already stated he is not interested in taking over from Ribbeck.

German Soccer Federation president Egidius Braun has also revealed that he will step down as planned in April 2001.

Germany open their qualifying campaign for the 2002 World Cup against Greece on September 2.

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See also:

22 Jun 00 | Germany
Daum declines German job
22 Jun 00 | Germany
Matthaus slams German players
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