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 why we are not continuing the talks," Zwanziger said.
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 settled.
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. Other reports have mentioned a dispute over the way the under-21 team is run and a right to veto 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 co-operation 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."
Bierhoff, the national team manager, 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 preparations."