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Jones laments lack of diversity on DFB board, public criticism of Füllkrug

origin 1Former Germany national women’s coach Steffi Jones pictured during the FIFA Women’s World Cup UEFA Group E Qualifiers soccer match between Germany and the Faroe Islands at McArena Aspach. Uwe Anspach/dpa

Former Germany women’s team coach Steffi Jones has criticized the composition of a new advisory board for the future of the men’s team as not diverse enough.

“I have nothing against gentlemen sitting on it. But a lot more diversity could have been brought in, for example by someone international. You may also need an outside view from another sport,” Jones told dpa.

The DFB national association advisory board was set up after the team’s second successive exit from the group stage of the World Cup, with the task of helping the team return to success in time for the Euro 2024 tournament hosts Germany.

Led by DFB President Bernd Neuendorf and Vice President Hans-Joachim Watzke, it includes former champions Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Rudi Völler, Oliver Kahn and Matthias Sammer, as well as Oliver Mintzlaff.

Jones said the group should have included a woman, a criticism shared by many others including goalkeeper Almuth Schult and current women’s coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg who spoke of a “lack of diversity”.

Jones, who won the World Cup as a player in 2003 and coached the women’s team from 2016-18, said she hopes the men’s team “embodies passion and identification again” at the European Championships because “then you will also be successful at the tournament”.

Völler meanwhile admitted in Wednesday’s edition of the weekly Sport Bild that the team’s connection to the fans has somehow been lost and needs to be restored for a full home advantage in 2024.

“How to regain the enthusiasm and love for the national team, for the most important team in our country?” she asked. “We have to take advantage of the home advantage at Euro 2024.”

Also on Sport Bild, Germany striker Niclas Füllkrug criticized the public treatment of the team for its performances in Qatar.

Füllkrug said he found it “quite appalling how much ill-will has been shown to the national team by the public in Germany”, a situation he described as “extremely unfortunate”.

Füllkrug added that public opinion was also very much against the team four years ago in Russia when Germany went out in the group stage alongside the holders.

He said he has the feeling that “the national team sometimes wants failure rather than success.

“I don’t know why. I can only say one thing: every player on the pitch is incredibly proud to wear the Germany shirt,” he said.

origin 1Germany’s Niclas Fuellkrug (L) gets on the team bus. After elimination in the preliminary round, the team returns to Germany. Federico Gambarini/dpa