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Monday, 26 June, 2000, 20:57 GMT 21:57 UK
Matthaus confirms plot
Lothar Matthaus has confirmed that several of his team-mates tried to install him as coach of the German national team ahead of Euro 2000.
The ringleaders of the player power coup against manager Erich Ribbeck were Dietmar Hamann, Jens Jeremies and Markus Babbel, according to the veteran defender.
He said the plotting came to a head at a pre-Euro 2000 training camp in Spain.
"Hamann, Jeremies, Babbel and several others came to see me during the Majorca camp and said 'You should do it, you would do a lot better'," Matthaus told German TV channel SF.
The revelation by Matthaus, holder of a world record 150 caps, confirm reports in Kicker magazine that such a plot existed.
The thinking behind the plot, according to Kicker, was to kill two birds by one stone - get rid of Ribbeck and enforce Matthaus to renounce his playing role.
Matthaus, presumably hurt by the implied slight on his playing ability, claims to have replied: 'How can you imagine doing that?'.
He says he told his team-mates: 'I have no experience and I want to play myself which I could not do as coach. Anyway you can't just 'kill' a coach like this just before Euro'.
Ribbeck resigned after Germany's disastrous defence of their title ended with defeats by England and Portugal and a solitary draw with Romania in Group A.
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