Germany chief makes plea for Loew to stay

Germany coach Joachim Loew received a strong endorsement from

the football federation president to stay on after the World Cup on

Monday, a day after the team made a sensational start to the

tournament.

Theo Zwanziger wants Loew to sign a new contract after the World

Cup regardless of how the team performs in South Africa.

Loew’s contract runs out after the tournament. Talks between him

and the federation about an extension broke down unexpectedly in

February because of financial disagreements and other issues.

Loew celebrated his 50th game in charge with a 4-0 rout of

Australia on Sunday. Loew has a record of 35 wins, seven losses and

eight draws.

“It’s a great team with a future,” Zwanziger said Monday after

visiting Germany’s base outside Pretoria. “It must be fascinating

for a coach to be in charge of such a team.”

“It’s a young team that’s grown together under a coach I value

a lot. It’s a team that can play both successfully and

attractively. I want to thank him for forming such a team and I am

very pleased in what we have in him.”

Zwanziger said he was optimistic Loew would stay on. But the

coach declined to be drawn into a discussion about his future.

“At the moment, I have very different things on my mind and I

don’t want to discuss what may happen,” Loew said. “I have shut

this topic out of my mind.

“We want to achieve something big here and I have to focus on

this goal 100 percent.”

Zwanziger said in December he and Loew had “shaken hands” on a

new contract, but in February their talks broke down even though an

extension was considered a formality.

The federation chief said Monday he and Loew have developed a

trusting relationship since Loew signed on six years ago, first as

Juergen Klinsmann’s assistant and then as head coach after the 2006

World Cup.

“He came to me right away and he stood behind me when things

were not going so well with the team. We also spoke openly when we

had differences,” Loew said.

Loew is seeking Germany’s fourth World Cup title and to become

the first Germany coach to win the tournament in his first

attempt.