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Saturday, 24 June, 2000, 12:23 GMT 13:23 UK
Schroeder backs Matthaus
Lothar Matthaus
Matthaus (right) was criticised by his own players
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has defended Lothar Matthaus following the nation's disastrous performances at Euro 2000.

Chancellor Schroeder sent an open letter to the former captain, published in German newspaper Welt am Sonntag.

In it, he claimed it was: "disgraceful that certain players, and in particular yourself, have been singled out and held responsible for our defeats.



This is the result of the miserable state of German football

Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder
"The defeat in Rotterdam (3-0 against Portugal) was not the result of the failings of one player or of one team. It is, above all, the result of the miserable state of German football.

"All of us - officials, fans and professional players - must work together to create the conditions for a better future for football in Germany."

Schroeder also insisted Matthaus should play a major role in the German rebuilding programme.

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See also:

23 Jun 00 | Euro2000
Germany hold fire on coach
22 Jun 00 | Germany
Matthaus slams German players
22 Jun 00 | Germany
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