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FOOTBALL

Sammer given German technical job

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Sammer is appointed by the DFB ahead of coach Klinsmann's choice

FRANKFURT, Germany (Reuters) -- Matthias Sammer will be German soccer's new technical director, after the country's Football Association (DFB) rejected Juergen Klinsmann's plan to appoint a hockey coach.

The DFB decided at a meeting on Wednesday to appoint Sammer, the 38-year-old former international, on a five-year contract starting on April 1.

Klinsmann, who continues as head coach, had wanted the German men's hockey coach Bernhard Peters to fill the post.

The DFB stopped short of making such a dramatic break with tradition but did say it would make an offer to Peters to take up an unspecified position on October 1.

"We'll swallow this pill, even if we're convinced Peters would have been a better choice," Klinsmann told the German SID agency.

"The matter is now closed. We're now going to concentrate on the World Cup."

The DFB praised Klinsmann for the more offensive and attractive style of the team since he took over in 2004 and reiterated its hope that a successful World Cup from June 9 to July 9 would lead to him continuing in his post.

"The DFB aims to continue working with Juergen Klinsmann as our national team coach after the World Cup, as long as the results allow," the statement said.

Sammer, European Footballer of the Year in 1996 and a former coach of Borussia Dortmund and VfB Stuttgart, will effectively take control of the country's youth teams up to the under-20 age group.

He played alongside Klinsmann in the German team that won the European Championship in England in 1996.

The red-haired midfielder won a total of 84 caps, playing 23 times for the old DDR and 51 for the united Germany before a knee injury ended his career.

As coach, he won a Bundesliga title with Dortmund before moving on to Stuttgart, losing his job after a poor run towards the end of last season.

"I'd delighted with this new job," Sammer told reporters on Wednesday. "It's a great challenge for me.

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