Coach Mar­cel Koller to leave Aus­tria af­ter 6-year stint

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Aus­tria coach Mar­cel Koller is leav­ing the na­tional team at the end of the year.

The Aus­trian soc­cer fed­er­a­tion de­cided Fri­day not to re­new his con­tract, end­ing the Swiss coach's six-year stint in charge.

"Koller has to be thanked for his great work but the sober re­al­ity is that we won four of our last 18 games. In the end only the re­sults count," the pres­i­dent of the fed­er­a­tion, Leo Windt­ner, said fol­low­ing a five-hour-long ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee meet­ing to dis­cuss the coach's fu­ture.

Windt­ner said the com­mit­tee had not been unan­i­mous but that "a ma­jor­ity of the board has de­cided that the con­tract will be ful­filled but not ex­tended."

Koller will still be in charge of the team for its fi­nal two World Cup qual­i­fiers, against Ser­bia and Moldova in Oc­to­ber.

Aus­tria is un­likely to qual­ify for next year's tour­na­ment in Rus­sia, although it still has a math­e­mat­i­cal chance of fin­ish­ing sec­ond in Group D, which also in­cludes Wales and Ire­land.

Ac­cord­ing to Windt­ner, the fed­er­a­tion was yet to speak about pos­si­ble can­di­dates but didn't rule out that Koller's suc­ces­sor might al­ready be in charge for a friendly game against a yet un­known op­po­nent in Novem­ber.

Koller has been Aus­tria's long­est-serv­ing coach since Hugo Meisl led the team for 18 years between 1919 and 1937. Un­der Koller, Aus­tria won 23 of its 54 matches and lost 16 times.

Spend­ing his en­tire ca­reer as a player with Grasshop­pers, Koller played 55 times for the Swiss na­tional team.

He coached FC Wil, St. Gallen, Grasshop­pers and Bun­desliga sides Cologne and Bochum, but had been with­out a job for over two years when he was ap­pointed by the Aus­trian fed­er­a­tion in Novem­ber 2011.

Koller be­came the fig­ure­head of Aus­tria's res­ur­rec­tion.

The team won nine of its 10 qual­i­fiers and en­tered the top 10 of the FIFA rank­ings as he guided Aus­tria to the 2016 Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship, the first ma­jor event the team qual­i­fied for since the 1998 World Cup.

How­ever, the de­cline set in with a poor show­ing and a group­stage exit at Euro 2016 in France, fol­lowed by a dis­ap­point­ing qual­i­fy­ing cam­paign which has left Aus­tria with no re­al­is­tic chance to reach next year's World Cup in Rus­sia.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malta

© PressReader. All rights reserved.