Löw banned from Euro quarterfinal match

Löw banned from Euro quarterfinal match
Löw and Hickersberger arguing with the ref. Photo: DPA
UEFA's disciplinary committee ruled on Wednesday that German national football team coach Joachim Löw will have to watch Thursday's Euro 2008 quarterfinal match against Portugal from the stands.

“I have to accept the UEFA decision and don’t wish to comment,” Löw said after the announcement. “Naturally I’m very disappointed,” he said.

During Germany’s last game against co-hosts Austria, the game’s fourth official sent both Löw and Austria’s coach Josef Hickersberger to the stands after an altercation between the three on the sidelines. It remains unclear what transpired between the three men, but Löw was forced to join Germany’s red-carded midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger in the stands to watch the team’s 1-0 victory.

But Löw will now be banned from all contact to his team during Thursday’s knockout match – including the half-time break in the locker room. The ban ends as soon as the final whistle blows, when Löw can answer press questions. Löw’s assistant Hansi Flick will step in as head coach, but the two will not be allowed to communicate.

Germany’s team manager Oliver Bierhoff said Löw had been punished enough when he was banned from the second half of the Austria game. “This decision is a new low for football,” he said. “I’m nevertheless optimistic that the UEFA ban on Löw will only motivate our team we’ll give the right answer on the field.”