“It was adrenaline and concentration. I will try to behave differently in the future.”
Not the words of a player after a reckless tackle which endangered an opponent, but the words of Joachim Low after being caught on camera rummaging around his crotch and then sniffing his hand.
“I saw the pictures as well and obviously sometimes you do things subconsciously. It happened and I am sorry,” the Germany boss said on the eve of his nation’s Euro 2016 group game with Poland.
It was the unlikely controversy of the tournament in France.
Considered mild-mannered by most, it turned out Low’s manners were definitely questionable.
The videos of his ‘scratch and sniff’ antics went viral with football fans commenting on his ‘ball control’.
Luckily, former Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski was on hand to offer his under-fire boss some protection.
“It’s not an issue,” he told reporters. “About 80 per cent of you here have at some point scratched your balls. Therefore, everything is good.”
It wasn’t the first or last time Low would be caught out though.
A prolific nasal navigator, the 61-year-old has been seen performing personal administration at several tournaments, starting at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, picking his and eating the findings.
Some also believed he passed on a nostril offering to Cristiano Ronaldo at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
His armpits were also given a thorough check out at Euro 2016 – it was a warm one in France, to be fair to him.
Although, we’d suggest wearing a stronger anti-perspirant to stop him having conduct the stop and search.
Euro 2020 will be Low’s final tournament as Germany boss, so hopefully he’s cleaned up his act, or at least learnt where the cameras are.
He leaves his role as national team manager after 15 years in charge, helping them win the World Cup in 2014.
Hansi Flick, former Bayern Munich boss, will replace him – but have the Germans picked a winner? Low definitely did!
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