Heading into 2019: At the turn of the year, Reinhard Grindel looks back at 2018 and speaks about what’s to come and the tasks up ahead. The New Year’s message from the DFB president.
Dear the fans of the beautiful game,
The naming of Germany as the host country for EURO 2024 has given the DFB a lot of momentum, but also a huge responsibility. We must now prepare well in terms of organisation and our game on the pitch. The year of 2019 will be characterised by setting the course for EURO 2024. At the same time, the preparations for EURO 2020 games will play an important role, at which Munich will be one of the 12 host cities over Europe.
In the coming year, we must intensify the dialogue between those responsible for our youth teams and the youth academies of the Bundesliga clubs. I think that will be an important task for Meikel Schönweitz, our new head coach of the national youth teams. EURO 2024 is also a big opportunity for us to shine on the pitch. We know from our experience in 2006 that we’ve never had a year with so many children and teenagers picking up football as a year when the World Cup is in your own country. This effect will be seen again in 2024 and we have to be prepared for that. We need engaged and coaches who are well trained and we need a sufficient infrastructure, especially artificial pitches.
With that said, I’m looking forward to the amateur football conference in Kassel in February. Having spoken to the representatives of the clubs and leagues, I’m hoping for lots of tips and ideas for what we as the DFB can do to improve the grassroots even further. And since even the best coach can only coach when they have a pitch to coach on, I will lead discussions with the mayors of the ten host cities for EURO 2024 in the first half of 2019 about improvements for sport infrastructure. The cities will receive additional tax revenue from the tournament and a considerable boost to their image. I will appeal to their fair play and ask the cities to give something back to football.
The games against Russia and Holland give me courage for the future. Joachim Löw has instigated change in a short time. The framework of experienced players must now be combined with lots of young prospects to form a team which can compete for the title in 2020. The draw in Dublin brought us a challenging group, but there’s no question that our only goal is direct qualification.
I’m looking forward to the Women’s World Cup in France with great optimism. Spain will be a tough nut to crack in the group stage, but we saw in the international in Erfurt that we can play at their level. Reaching the knock-out stages at the World Cup has to be the goal. I’d like to thank Horst Hrubesch, who helped us in a difficult situation for women’s football and to whom we as the DFB cannot thank enough. I am certain that our new national coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg will continue his work successfully with her own ideas working alongside assistant coaches Britta Carlson and Thomas Nörenberg.
2019 will be a game changer, and that goes for the construction of the new DFB as well. We have a lot of hope that we can begin the building work early this year and should be finished in 2021. The new DFB will make us better through the work of the DFB Academy. By the same token, we can guarantee a big motivational push for all our staff when we’re all united under one roof as the new DFB.
I wish you all the best for 2019.