Voller stays on as Germany coach

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The Independent Football

Rudi Voller will remain in charge of the German national side until the 2002 World Cup. The former Germany striker took over as coach in a temporary capacity after Euro 2000.

Rudi Voller will remain in charge of the German national side until the 2002 World Cup. The former Germany striker took over as coach in a temporary capacity after Euro 2000.

Christophe Daum, then with Bayer Leverkusen, was expected to move into the post on a permanent basis in June 2001. But Daum's failure to pass a drugs test has cost him both his job with Leverkusen and the opportunity to take up the national post, and Voller was asked to stay on for the World Cup finals in Japan and South Korea.

Völler will be replaced as coach of Bayer Leverkusen by Berti Vogts, who was Germany's coach at the 1998 finals in France and who Völler played under at Euro 96. He will remain a sports director at Leverkusen until his contract with the club expires in 2003.

"Having two jobs at the same time could not last long," Völler said yesterday. "There were too many conflicts. I did fine at Leverkusen but, to be honest, I'm happy that Saturday will be my last time on the bench."

The 53-year-old Vogts led Germany to the 1996 European title but stepped down two years later after failing to get past the quarter-finals of the World Cup in France. He had never coached a Bundesliga club before.

For his part, Völler last month guided Germany to a 1-0 win at Wembley, and will now be in charge for the return match on 1 September next year. Völler has guided Germany to three victories in as many matches since he was appointed on a caretaker basis last July.

According to recent polls, Völler is the most popular personality in the German game, even ahead of Franz Beckenbauer. "Rudi is the new 'Kaiser' of German soccer," the Bayer Leverkusen business manager, Reiner Calmund, said.

Yesterday, Völler recalled the Bayern Munich midfielder Jens Jeremies for the friendly against Denmark on Wednesday in Copenhagen.

Jeremies has been hampered by a string of injuries and has not played for his country since Euro 2000 when Germany were knocked out in the group stage.

The Bayern Munich striker Alexander Zickler, and Borussia Dortmund midfielder Joerg Heinrich, both fit again, are also included in the 22-man squad.

The Hamburg defender Ingo Hertzsch, who has been called up twice but is still waiting for his first cap, has also been named.

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