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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Mar 6, 2006

Der Kaiser raps Klinsmann California dreaming

DUESSELDORF, Germany, March 6 (Reuters) - Germany coach Juergen Klinsmann was scolded by Franz Beckenbauer on Monday for skipping a meeting of top officials from all 32 World Cup finalists and returning home to California.

Germany's organising committee president said he was angry and disappointed that Klinsmann was not in Duesseldorf for the two-day meetings to discuss technical issues.

'It's incredible that he's not here,' Beckenbauer said. 'As host country you have to be here. Nearly all the coaches are here. Carlos Alberto Parreira came from Brazil, Sven-Goran Eriksson came from England, but our head coach is not here.

'He should have been here. This is an obligatory meeting and he does not have all that many meetings that are obligatory.

'I don't want to say anything more about it because the more I think about it, the more drastic my choice of words will become.'

Klinsmann, who has been commuting between his native Germany and his home in southern California since taking the job in August 2004, has faced sharp criticism following his side's dreadful performance in a 4-1 loss in Italy last week.

It led to a new flare-up of media and public rage at Klinsmann's decision to stay based in the United States ahead of the tournament. Many Bundesliga coaches and German officials argue Klinsmann should be in Germany to watch matches each week.

However, Klinsmann rejected the criticism.

'I was in Germany for three of the last five weeks after the Bundesliga started up after the winter break,' he told Bild newspaper. 'I've got my plan with everything necessary for the World Cup preparations.

'I've seen matches almost every weekend this winter, but I'm not someone who puts himself in the forefront,' Klinsmann said.

The 60-year-old Beckenbauer, who lives just south of the German border in Austria, has long been an ardent backer of most of Klinsmann's decisions and had rarely criticised his protege in public before Monday.

But he said Klinsmann needed to show his presence in Germany at the very least to calm the country's nerves after the team's humiliating defeat last week's friendly in Florence.

'He was needed here to sweep up some of the broken glass,' said Beckenbauer, whose news conference was quickly brought to a conclusion by German officials just as he was growing angry.

'It doesn't make sense any more to talk to him about it,' said Beckenbauer.

'I don't know how often I've spoken with him and told him that he must be in Germany during the final run-up to the tournament. If that's how he views the profession then he will have to live with the criticism.'

Klinsmann has defended his decision to live in California, saying he spends half of each month in Germany and communicates with players and coaches via emails and telephone calls.

Germany team manager Oliver Bierhoff backed the coach, saying he and assistant coach Joachim Loew were handling all the issues for Klinsmann - including his proposal to extend the FIFA squad nomination deadline to the end of May from May 15.