World Cup: Vogts demands silence from loud mouths

GERMANY'S coach Berti Vogts is trying to keep team morale high and has banned his World Cup players from back-biting.

"We had the best players in 1994 but not the best team - and for this tournament I have told them I don't want to read in the press players having a go at each other," Vogts said.

The biggest culprit in recent years has been the former captain Lothar Matthaus, whom Vogts surprisingly recalled after a gap of almost four years. "He's a strong personality, but he's the sort of player you need in pressure situations like the World Cup," Vogts said.

Matthaus himself has admitted: "Sometimes I should have kept my mouth shut." He was slung out of the Germany camp acrimoniously just before Euro 96 in England, after verbally attacking Vogts and his former Bayern Munich team-mate Jurgen Klinsmann for allegedly lobbying to have him removed from the squad.

Matthaus is now focused purely on what happens on the pitch. He is set to beat the record of 21 World Cup matches - held by his compatriot Uwe Seeler, Poland's Wladyslaw Zmuda and Argentina's Diego Maradona - if he plays against the United States in Germany's opening match at the Parc des Princes in Paris tomorrow.

The 37-year-old said that, even if he did not play tomorrow, he was still confident of making the team eventually. "I know the score and I accept the situation," he said. "If I wasn't happy with my role I wouldn't be here. A World Cup lasts a long time - it's not just the first three matches."

Matthaus, Germany's winning captain eight years ago, will become the most-experienced World Cup outfield player if he plays. The existing World Cup record of most finals appearances is held by the Mexican goalkeeper Antonio Carbajal, who played 11 games in five finals between 1950 and 1966.

The crackdown on hard tackling has had a positive effect on games so far at the tournament, according to football's governing body.

"People were expecting a flood of red cards because of the new rule on tackles from behind, but it's not happening," the Fifa spokesman Keith Cooper said. "The idea is to allow players to run with the ball freely without fear of being chopped from behind. This is clearly working.

"We've heard many positive comments about the quality of the game," Cooper added. "Players are aware that tackles from behind will be punished."

Fifa had been criticised for implementing the rule for the first time at a World Cup finals tournament without testing it in a major competition before. "The rule is not that new," Cooper said. "A tackle from behind has always been an offence. The difference is that now you get a red card for it."

Fernand Sastre, who organised the campaign to bring the World Cup to France, died of lung cancer yesterday.

The 74-year-old became co-chairman of the organising committee, along with the former national captain Michel Platini, after France was awarded the tournament. He was the president of the French Football Federation from 1973 to 1984.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?