Loew's future to be decided after World Cup

The German football federation and Joachim Loew have called a truce and agreed to decide the national team coach's future after the World Cup.
Joachim Loew may be replaced as coach of the German national team after the 2010 World Cup. ((Getty Images))

The German football federation and Joachim Loew have called a truce and agreed to decide the national team coach's future after the World Cup.

At a news conference Tuesday at the headquarters of the federation (DFB), both sides conceded mistakes in handling the talks that collapsed last week and created a major distraction as the three-time champions begin to prepare for the June 11-July 11 World Cup in South Africa.

"We've found a common line until the World Cup," Loew said. "We have an incredible responsibility, we represent not only the DFB, we represent Germany with millions of fans. I am sure we will have a good tournament."

Loew was joined at the conference by DFB president Theo Zwanziger, general secretary Wolfgang Niersbach and national team manager Oliver Bierhoff, a member of Loew's staff who was involved in the failed talks and has been partly blamed for their collapse.

"We want success and success is only possible with this coach. The team needs this coach," Zwanziger said.

While seeking to present a united front, major differences appear to remain but Loew and officials said there would be no new talks on a possible contract extension until after the World Cup and they can now devote their energy on preparations for the event.

Zwanziger acknowledged that the differences were "serious" but Loew said he is happy to wait until after the World Cup for talks to resume.

"I can live with this situation very well," Loew said. "We'll see after the World Cup."

The 50-year-old Loew was Juergen Klinsmann's assistant and took over when he quit after Germany finished third at the 2006 World Cup at home. In its first big tournament under Loew, Germany was runner-up at the 2008 European Championship.

Loew and Bierhoff met with the DFB officials Monday and Tuesday in an attempt to calm the situation, which has been dominating Germany's sports pages.

The DFB has not given precise reasons why the talks collapsed but German media reports say Loew and Bierhoff had demanded "signing fees" equivalent to an annual salary for Loew and his entire staff. Bierhoff also reportedly wanted to have the decisive vote in picking the next coach, but the DFB balked at the demand.

Neither side has denied that such demands were made, and over the weekend Loew defended his and Bierhoff's position.

"It's our right to make one or two demands. People who know us know that it's not about power or greed, but that it's about the development of the team," Loew said in Warsaw before the qualifying draw for Euro 2012.

Qualifying starts in September and the DFB will have to find a new coach quickly after the World Cup if Loew decided to leave when his contract expires after the World Cup.

On Tuesday, Bierhoff conceded making mistakes in the way he conducted negotiations and apologized for "hurting people's feelings."

Both sides also regretted that details of the talks had been leaked to the media. Loew had earlier said he had been deeply irritated by the leaks.