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Football: Loew plans to coach Germany beyond World Cup

Joachim Loew said on Tuesday he plans to coach Germany for at least two more years, regardless of results at next month's World Cup, with his contract to expire in 2016.

BERLIN: Joachim Loew said on Tuesday he plans to coach Germany for at least two more years, regardless of results at next month's World Cup, with his contract to expire in 2016.

Having taken charge in 2006, the 54-year-old Loew signed an extension with the German Football Association (DFB) last October and says he plans to at least fulfil his contract which expires after Euro 2016 in France.

"That is what I'm assuming," he told the Cologne-based Express newspaper ahead of Germany's friendly against Poland on Tuesday, the first of their three World Cup warm-up matches.

"In any case, until 2016. That's what has been decided."

There has been speculation Loew might walk away from the Germany job in the event of winning what would be his country's fourth World Cup.

"That's one way of looking at it, but it's also conceivable that there would be an explosion of motivation when one becomes a world champion," said Loew.

"As (Spain coach) Vicente del Bosque said after winning the 2010 World Cup, 'now I also want to win the European Championship'."

DFB president Wolfgang Niersbach has said Loew will remain in charge even if Germany struggle at the World Cup in Brazil, where they have been drawn in Group G along with Portugal, Ghana and the USA.

"We have extended the contracts of our coaching team with the clear intention of staying together until 2016," he said. "Why should anything change?"

Niersbach also praised the efforts of Loew, who has taken Germany to at least the semi-finals of Euro 2008, the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012.

"Jogi Loew is an absolutely first-class coach, but he also knows that the DFB is a first-class employer," Niersbach told Bild.

"I have never felt any doubts in his ability, even after we lost the Euro 2012 semi-final (2-1) to Italy."

Meanwhile, the DFB have fallen offside with German fans in the build-up to Tuesday's friendly in Hamburg against Poland after partially covering up a banner against fascism at the team's training ground.

The German squad trained on Monday at second division St Pauli's Millerntor Stadium where the long-standing painted banner "No football fascists" was partly covered up.

The DFB later admitted they had "neutralised" any political messages at the stadium.

"The Millerntor (stadium) has been neutralised, that means all advertising and political banners have been removed," said a DFB statement on Twitter.

Spokesman Jens Grittner stressed the DFB supported the statement "No football fascists", but "nobody wants to see pictures of German players with the backdrop of the word 'fascists'."

But fans and professional footballers alike were quick to voice their anger that a positive political banner had been removed.

"In view of the German-Polish history, the complete lettering was a clear message that would have been greeted with a positive response by our Polish guests," said St Pauli in a statement.

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