Germany head coach Joachim Low has dropped striker Patrick Helmes plus midfielders Jermaine Jones and teenager Marko Marin from his UEFA EURO 2008 squad, it was announced on Wednesday.

Loew named an extended squad on 16 May for a training camp in Mallorca, but had to drop three players before submitting his final 23-man squad for the tournament, co-hosted by Austria and Switzerland, which begins on 7 June.

"The decision made by our coaching team was a very difficult one," said Low. "It was a millimetre decision, because every one of the three players earned their place in the UEFA EURO 2008 squad.

"The decision was especially hard as all three did well in the training camp and will have a role to play in the national team after the tournament."

All three played in Tuesday night's 2-2 draw with minnows Belarus and were told of the decision is a team meeting on Wednesday morning.

Germany face Serbia in their final warm-up game in Gelsenkirchen on Saturday and open their UEFA EURO 2008 campaign against Poland in Klagenfurt on 8 June.