Germany manager Hansi Flick defied FIFA rules as he sat alone for the press conference ahead of their crucial Group E clash against Spain on Sunday.
The FIFA rules suggest a player alongside the manager must appear at a press conference the day before a game, but Flick told his players to focus on training.
Since all media briefings have to be at FIFA’s main media centre in Doha, the German coach had to travel over 200 km from their Al Shamal training base for the pre-match press conference.
Hansi Flick previews tomorrow's clash with Spain 💬
— Germany (@DFB_Team_EN) November 26, 2022
“We can’t expect a player to come along and drive for three hours. It’s a very important match so I told them I’m going to come and do it on my own,” Germany’s manager told the reporters.
The absence of a player will cost Germany a big fine but Flick is only worried about the well-being of his players.
“Every player in the 26 is important so I asked them not to come along because it is important they devote energy to the training session.
— Germany (@DFB_Team_EN) November 25, 2022
“We are disappointed. We have a very good media centre [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, Germany’s football federation asked to relocate the press conference but FIFA refused, fearing it would set an inconvenient precedent.”
The four-time World Cup champions were upset by Japan 2-1 on Wednesday.
“We are optimistic,” said Flick.
“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’re positive and just really want to see that we approach this game on Sunday against Spain positively.
“It’s simply important to deal with defeats, but also to clear your head and focus on the new task, and that’s our goal, to get the team to the point where they naturally believe that they can push this thing in the right direction on Sunday.”
Spain, meanwhile, has only lost once in its previous seven matches against Germany. This will be the fifth meeting between the teams at the World Cup and Spain won the last outing, 1-0 in the semifinals of the 2010 tournament.