Loew decision put on hold
Germany coach Joachim Loew and the country’s football federation
have been unable to agree on a contract extension and have delayed
a decision on his future until after the World Cup.
An emergency meeting of the federation’s board Thursday in
Frankfurt ended without an agreement, raising the prospect of a
major distraction as the three-time World Cup champion prepares for
the June 11-July 11 tournament in South Africa.
A new deal for Loew, long considered a formality, fell
through over “new ideas” that were “surprisingly presented in
January” and were considered unacceptable by the federation,
according to DFB president Theo Zwanziger.
“A compromise proposal by the DFB was not accepted by the
sporting leadership and that’s why we are not continuing the
talks,” Zwanziger said. “We don’t want to jeopardize preparations
for the World Cup.”
Zwanziger announced in December that Loew and he had “shook
hands” on a new deal for Loew, whose contract runs out after the
World Cup. But Loew later said some details still had to be
Although the DFB did not give details of the disagreements,
Bild newspaper reported that Loew wanted a “signing fee” bonus for
himself and his assistants equivalent to an annual salary. Other
reports have mentioned a dispute over the way the under-21 team is
run and a veto right reportedly demanded by national team manager
Oliver Bierhoff in picking a new coach after Loew.
“In principle, both sides are interested in continuing the
good cooperation but could not agree on important aspects,”
Zwanziger said. “That’s why we came to the common conclusion to
abandon the negotiations and to concentrate solely on preparations
for the World Cup.”
Zwanziger said there were “structural problems” and “economic
aspects” on which the positions were too far part for a speedy
Bierhoff, a member of Loew’s staff, said: “We would have
preferred a quick contract extension before the World Cup. But we
accept the decision and will concentrate fully on World Cup
“We were in favor of continuing the negotiations because we
know that this subject will stay with us until and during the World
Cup,” Bierhoff said.
DFB general secretary Wolfgang Niersbach compared the current
situation to the 2006 World Cup, which Germany hosted, when it was
unclear if then coach Juergen Klinsmann would remain in charge
after the tournament.
Klinsmann led Germany to a third-place finish and eventually
decided to quit. His assistant Loew got the job.