DOHA - The German Football Association (DFB) will next week launch a round of talks to identify the reasons for their second consecutive World Cup flop, after the team were eliminated in the group stage again on Thursday night.
Four-time champions Germany - who host the European Championship in 2024 - crashed out of the World Cup despite their 4-2 victory over Costa Rica in their last Group E match, tumbling at the first hurdle for the second consecutive tournament.
They had arrived in Qatar determined to restore their tarnished reputation after their shock 2018 group stage exit. Instead they finished third in the standings, level on four points with Spain but behind on goal difference, and they return home early to face scathing criticism.
"You can imagine that today there is deep disappointment," DFB President Bernd Neuendorf told reporters on Friday at Doha airport as the team prepared to return home.
"This elimination is extremely painful. But we have to look ahead and so we will lead a process on how to deal with this."
Germany will host Euro 2024 and following their shock World Cup exit, expectations - and pressure - have just increased many times over.
Neuendorf said a meeting would be held next week with national team coach Hansi Flick, team manager Oliver Bierhoff, and German Football league (DFL) CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke to discuss the latest debacle.
"The expectation is for the sporting direction to have a sporting analysis of this tournament and to also develop a prospect for after the tournament and the Euros (2024) on home soil," Neuendorf said.
"It (analysis) must also include the development of the national team since 2018. This is the demand and claim that we have. Then we will have more talks."
The Germans suffered a similar first-round exit at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, their earliest departure in over 80 years at the time, but the once mighty tournament team had never before failed to win any of their first two group matches as in Qatar.
"I am a strong supporter of clear processes and expect to hold these talks with respect and in private. We are taking the first step before the second step," Neuendorf said.
Neuendorf, Flick and Bierhoff will return to Germany with fans and media furious at their disappointing run that included a defeat to Japan in their opening match, a 1-1 draw with Spain and a win over Costa Rica that came too late to prevent them from being eliminated on goal difference to Spain.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Hugh Lawson)