June 25, 2018 / 7:07 PM / 5 months ago

German Football Association says rowdy officials not at pitch side for next game

VATUTINKI, Russia (Reuters) - The German Football Association (DFB) on Monday said two team officials will not have access to the pitch at their final World Cup Group F match against South Korea after their “unsportsmanlike” behavior in the game against Sweden.

Soccer Football - World Cup - Group F - Germany vs Sweden - Fisht Stadium, Sochi, Russia - June 23, 2018 Sweden coach Janne Andersson clashes with Germany team manager Oliver Bierhoff after the match REUTERS/Hannah McKay

Team media officer Ulrich Voigt and the director of the DFB office for the national team, Georg Behlau, had charged toward the Sweden bench pumping their fists when Toni Kroos’ stoppage-time goal gave Germany a 2-1 victory on Saturday.

The enraged Swedish coaching staff and reserve players then stood up and immediately confronted them, shoving them back toward their technical area.

The incident, which triggered an investigation by world soccer’s governing body FIFA, was a major embarrassment for the world champions and almost escalated into a wider physical altercation after Swedish officials pushed Behlau away.

“Independent of the FIFA disciplinary commission’s decision, the DFB and the two colleagues in question want to make a clear point of having realized the impact of their unsportsmanlike behavior and already today announce that they will have no function in the pitch side area at the next game of the German team,” the DFB said in a statement.

The DFB did not say whether they would resume their pitch side positions should the team advance to the knockout stage.

“The members of the support staff know that they have behaved incorrectly in an emotionally charged situation,” it said.

FIFA has yet to conclude its investigation and announce any possible sanctions against them that could include stripping their accreditation for the rest of the tournament and/or fining the DFB for their behavior.

Both have since apologized to the Swedish team.

Germany ideally need to beat South Korea on Wednesday by at least two goals to make sure of a spot in the round of 16.

Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Ian Chadband

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