Flick staying on as Germany coach
FLICK...we as a team can achieve much more than we showed in Qatar (Photo: AP)

BERLIN, Germany (AP) — Germany's coach is staying, the head of its league is not.

The German football federation maintained its trust in Hansi Flick as national team coach on Wednesday despite the disappointing World Cup performance.

Separately, German football league chief executive Donata Hopfen will leave her position at the end of the month after reaching a mutual agreement to cut short her three-year contract because of what the league said was "differing ideas about the further strategic direction of the company".

Hopfen's departure — unrelated to the World Cup — after less than a year in charge had been expected amid simmering issues of discontent among Bundesliga clubs and teams from the second division.

Flick's future was more uncertain following Germany's early World Cup exit, their third straight disappointing performance at a major tournament, and the former Bayern Munich coach was under pressure going into Wednesday's meeting with federation President Bernd Neuendorf and Vice-President Hans-Joachim Watzke.

Neuendorf said afterward, the body has "full confidence" in Flick to lead the team through the 2024 European Championship, which Germany is scheduled to host and which Neuendorf described as a "great opportunity" for the future of football in the country.

Flick left the meeting without a word but was quoted in a statement from the federation.

"We as a team can achieve much more than we showed in Qatar," Flick said in the statement. "We missed a big opportunity there. We'll learn our lessons from it."

Flick said he was optimistic about Euro 2024 and that he has confidence in the path Neuendorf and Watzke agreed to.

"We want all of Germany to rally behind the national team again at the 2024 European Championship at home," said Flick, who faced criticism for his team selection and tactics against group rivals Japan, Spain, and Costa Rica in Qatar.

Mistakes in defence, where Flick was unable to settle on his preferred back four, and an inability to put away chances cost Germany a place in the knockout round.

Germany's record under Flick was also poor before the tournament. Flick took over from Joachim Löw last year after Germany's second-round exit from the European Championship and has a contract through Euro 2024.

The federation still needs a replacement for Oliver Bierhoff, who ended an 18-year stint Monday when he agreed to resign as managing director of Germany's national football teams and academy. Bierhoff might not have a direct replacement.

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