Germany coach Joachim Löw says time is right to step aside

BERLIN (AP) — Given time during the coronavirus pandemic to reflect, Germany coach Joachim Löw decided to step aside earlier than expected.

“I always said that the team needs room, it needs time and development. It shouldn’t be held up because the coach perhaps wants to cling onto his position,” Löw said on Thursday in his first public comments since the decision was announced by the German federation on Tuesday.

The 61-year-old Löw said leaving after the European Championship this summer, instead of after the World Cup next year, will give his successor the time to prepare for Euro 2024 in Germany.

“Three years to prepare for a tournament in your own country is right,” Löw said.

Löw took over Germany after serving as assistant coach to Jürgen Klinsmann at the 2006 World Cup, and is one of the longest-serving coaches of a national team. He has been in charge for 189 games.

Löw led Germany to the 2014 World Cup title, but has been under increasing scrutiny as results suffered following a shake up of the team after the 2018 World Cup, which Germany exited in the first round.

“I think it was completely the right decision to start changes in 2019,” Löw said. “This young generation will reach their potential in 2024.”

Löw said his “full concentration” was on preparing the team for this summer’s tournament.

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Ciarán Fahey on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cfaheyAP

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