Germany coach Hansi Flick defied FIFA rules when he sat alone for the press conference ahead of their crucial Group E match against Spain on Sunday.
FIFA rules suggest that a player must appear at a press conference alongside the manager the day before a match, but Flick told his players to focus on training.
As all media briefings must take place at FIFA’s main media center in Doha, the German coach had to travel over 200km from their Al Shamal training base for the pre-match press conference.
Hansi Flick gives a preview of tomorrow’s clash with Spain 💬
All important quotes 👉 https://t.co/Ax9XdP1ExW#GER #FIFA world cup pic.twitter.com/6k0qnFCafQ
— Germany (@DFB_Team_EN) November 26, 2022
“We can’t expect a player to drive for three hours. It’s a very important game, so I told them I’ll come and do it on my own,” the German manager told reporters.
The absence of a player costs Germany a hefty fine, but Flick is only concerned about the well-being of his players.
“Every player in the 26 is important, so I have asked them not to come because it is important that they put energy into training.
Together 👊#GER #FIFA world cup pic.twitter.com/lHVcaCt1xB
— Germany (@DFB_Team_EN) November 25, 2022
“We are disappointed. We have a very good media center [at the training ground] and it would have been possible for a player [to come] if the press conference had been held closer.”
According to The Guardian, “The DFB, the German football federation, asked to reschedule the press conference, but FIFA refused, fearing it would set an uncomfortable precedent.”
The four-time world champion was defeated 2-1 by Japan on Wednesday.
“We’re optimistic,” Flick said.
“We have to be brave and believe in our quality. We want to stick to our game because we have the quality. We trust the team. We are positive and just really want to see a positive approach to this Sunday’s game against Spain.
“It’s just important to deal with defeats, but also to clear your head and focus on the new task. That’s our goal, to get the team to the point where they naturally believe they can do this thing on Sunday push in the right direction.”
Spain, meanwhile, has lost just once in their previous seven matches against Germany. This will be the fifth meeting between the teams at the World Cup and Spain won the last appearance 1-0 in the semi-finals of the 2010 tournament.