Two coaches have already lost their job after the Men’s EHF EURO 2020 in Ukraine (Bebeshko) and Russia (Koksharov), while the most pro and contra statements could be heard in Germany about status of Christian Prokop. The German national team led by young coach missed to qualify for the second EHF EURO event in a row after 2016, when Germans won the gold medal in Krakow.
A real “fire” began with the statement of legendary German player from 90’s-2000’s, Daniel Stephan who criticized Prokop’s work.
“The first round was totally overslept, that shouldn’t happen,” said Stephan, and said “deficits in the attack, the second wave doesn’t work. It’s all very sobering. I am not responsible. I analyze what I see. I give my opinion without doing any politics in the background. I am not accountable to anyone. Those responsible have to analyze that, I only know Prokop personally a little. I heard from Stefan Kretzschmar that he is a good guy”, said IHF World Handball Player 1998 to Sport1.de.
Some of the players, like Wolff, Bitter and Pekeler stayed behind their coach:
- Team has been perfectly prepared. For us there is no coach question at all.
Hendrik Pekeler was even more open against Stephan.
- You don’t hear anything from him for eleven months a year. And then at EURO he is the first to come out of his hole and think he has to open his mouth. I think he was a really good handball player. But since then he hasn’t helped the sport grow or advance in Germany, ” said the THW Kiel professional, adding: ” That’s why you can’t take serious what he says.
Another ex-star Christian Schwarzer put critics on DHB vice-president Bob Hanning, who is the first in saving Prokop:
How he moderated the whole situation fits him perfectly. First he opens a coach discussion, the next day he doesn’t want to know about it anymore and allegedly feels misunderstood. Bob always interprets it as he needs it “That is his great strength, and with that he turns the whole handball world upside down. I have a huge problem with it, especially since it didn’t fall on my head. “I don’t want to say that Christian Prokop was a junior coach at the time, he did a very good job in Leipzig and built and developed a team with which he could work day in and day out. But at the international level he was just damn young, unknown and inexperienced, “said the 50-year-old. The fact that the DHB had paid a transfer fee of 500,000 euros for Prokop basically triggered the debate about the former Leipzig coach, said Schwarzer.
However, German Handball Federation gave a vote of confidence to Christian Prokop.
“And we made it clear that we want to go with Christian into the qualification tournament for the Olympic Games and then definitely also play the Olympic Games – said Bob Hanning.
Germany will play against Portugal for the fifth place in Stockholm.
Mandatory Credit © Uros Hocevar / kolektiff