Austrian official does not expect new contract for Koller
VIENNA (AP) Austria coach Marcel Koller may be in charge of the national team for the last time against Georgia on Tuesday.
An Austrian soccer federation official said he does not expect Koller to be offered a new contract with the team unlikely to qualify for the World Cup. The Swiss coach was appointed in 2011, with his current contract expiring at the end of the year.
”The reality in football is that when you fail to achieve your goals, it’s often the coach who has to bear the consequences,” Austrian soccer federation executive committee member Horst Lumper told broadcaster ORF.
With three games remaining in Group D, Austria trails Serbia by seven points, Ireland by five and Wales by three. Only the group winner will advance directly to the World Cup in Russia.
According to Lumper, who is the president of the regional soccer federation in the Vorarlberg province, the executive committee will talk about the coach’s position next week.
”I can’t blame Marcel Koller for anything. He has done a super job for Austria,” Lumper said. ”We will have to see whether his contract will be extended but you have to be aware that our goals have not been achieved.”
Speaking during a news conference the day before the match, Koller said he ”had no time yet to consider my own future” since the 1-0 loss at Wales in Cardiff on Saturday.
After taking over from Dietmar Constantini in late 2011, Koller guided Austria to the European Championship four years later. The team won nine of its 10 qualifiers and entered the top 10 of the FIFA rankings.
After failing to reproduce that kind of form since, Austria disappointed with a group-stage exit at Euro 2016 in France and has been left with no realistic chance to reach next year’s World Cup in Russia.