Steffi Jones is no longer coach of the German women’s national team. As the German soccer association (DFB) announced in a statement on its website on Tuesday, former men’s U-21 and Olympic team coach Horst Hrubesch will take over the female national side on an interim basis.
Hrubesch will lead them in the next two World Cup qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Slovenia in early April. He originally ended his coaching career, after having taken the men’s Olympic team to a silver medal performance in Rio de Janeiro.
The new interim coach is still happy to help the team and the German association for the time being. He says he has followed the women’s game for years and was part of the DFB delegation at the 2017 EURO in the Netherlands.
He will have Ulrike Ballweg, the former longtime assistant coach of Jones’ predecessor, Silvia Neid as well as his good friend Thomas Nörenberg on his coaching staff.
Along with the success in Rio, Hamburger SV’s player legend Horst Hrubesch has also led Germany’s Under- 21 men’s team to its EURO 2009 title. That side included stars of today such as Manuel Neuer, Mesut Özil and even current American international Fabian Johnson.
The DFB does not usually fire its main coaches, male or female. Since the 1990s, German national team coaches have always either resigned and/or retired. Therefore, this situation is quite new and extraordinary.
But Steffi Jones has virtually been begging to be sacked, given her record on the job. After having won the Women’s EURO for decades, the team under her leadership was unceremoniously eliminated in the quarterfinals of last summer’s tournament.
Despite that failure, the association gave the coach the benefit of the doubt and let her keep the job. Then in the fall, the team suffered a humiliating defeat of epic proportions against Iceland early in World Cup qualifying. Still, the DFB stood by Jones.
The uninspiring showing earlier this month at the She Believes Cup in the US, where the team finished in last place, left the association with no other option besides terminating Steffi Jones’ contract.