News : DFB power struggle: amateur representatives call for cellar resignation – sport
Rainer Koch is not only a football functionary with pre-democratic offices, but also a social democrat. He should therefore be familiar with the role the lake landscape southwest of Potsdam has already played in the history of German intrigues. It was in 2008 when the SPD overthrew its then party leader Kurt Beck during a retreat there and the “Drama vom Schwielowsee” was born; optionally increased to “regicide from Schwielowsee”.
One lake further, in a hotel on Lake Templin, the leadership of the German Football Association met representatives of the regional and state associations at the weekend for the next crisis meeting in the eternal power struggle at the top of the DFB. In the end, there was a decision that shook the DFB at least as much as the SPD once did.
The conference came to a striking result: It asked Fritz Keller, 63, the DFB President, because of his Nazi comparison derailment, to resign his Vice Koch recently (26 yes, nine no, two abstentions) – “to avert further damage from Association “as it was called. At the same time, the regional bosses also withdrew their trust from Keller’s opponent, DFB General Secretary Friedrich Curtius, 45. And Keller’s other opponents, Koch and treasurer Stephan Osnabrügge, the state chiefs only expressed a paper-thin trust, with 13 no and 21 and 22 yes votes respectively.
The vote provides the next escalation in the power struggle: For the first time it officially documents the hopeless turmoil in German football. But the argument is still not resolved. It remained unclear on Sunday evening how the top of the DFB is handling the vote. Keller and Curtius initially did not want to comment, according to a statement from the association. And: Koch and Osnabrügge also have to continue to fear for their posts.
Everyone rejects an early Bundestag
It was a memorable day and a half at Lake Templin. The dispute has been paralyzing the DFB for months. All attempts at arbitration faltered, and the situation has escalated completely for a few days. A good week ago, Keller had called his vice cook “Freisler” in an internal meeting, based on the notorious head of justice under National Socialism, Roland Freisler. On the other hand, Keller’s critics have to answer increasingly delicate questions about an ominous consultancy contract worth around 360,000 euros. The internal audit committee recently came up with a devastating interim report and even brought a voluntary disclosure into play.
Keller’s camp had pleaded right up to the end that an extraordinary DFB Bundestag had to be established, where the four-man leadership team faced the question of confidence. But the amateur conference unanimously refused, they held the test of trust right at Lake Templin. Participants noted a real cultural break when they withdrew to a secret vote on Sunday morning without the four candidates.
As a rule, everything at the DFB is decided by a clearly visible show of hands: In the sense of the so-called “unity” that Koch and Co. also conjured up at Lake Templin, it is ensured that someone does not break away from the mainstream. So on Sunday it was different, everyone could cast their vote discreetly – and lo and behold: In the end there was a result that massively hit all top people.
The exact consequences remain to be seen. This conference of country and regional heads is an important body. But it is not formally authorized to judge managerial jobs. At the same time, the result influenced certain opacity of the statutes: of the 37 votes cast, arch rival Keller, Rainer Koch, was entitled to four votes thanks to his function as boss of the southern German and Bavarian football associations: a good ten percent. Together with the other associations represented in the southern region ruled by Koch, there are even twelve votes. Osnabrügge comes from the Mittelrhein Association, which also has two votes. This package alone will have been decisive for the vice and the treasurer to have a marginally positive result; It would be absurd to assume that those six to 14 voices migrated elsewhere.
Now it should depend on the majority in the board
In addition, the representatives of the DFL league association were missing from this body. These are the functionaries who support Keller in the power struggle and who are extremely critical of his opponents. It will therefore be decisive how the balance of power in the DFB board is represented. This is formally the second highest body of the association after the Bundestag – and here the constellation is extremely close. Because here, in addition to the regional and regional princes, sit the members of the presidium – as well as twelve other representatives of the league.
The weighting of votes is complicated. But if the league officials vote for Keller and the amateur representatives stick to their assessment, it would even be enough for a narrow majority for Keller on the DFB board – although the president would of course have to ask himself whether he wants to continue working against a vote by the amateurs .
Koch and Osnabrügge, however, have to fear that the bottom line is that it will not be enough for them on the board if the league takes a stand against them. The situation with Curtius is clear: He is so down in the professional camp that the league has even locked him out of its meetings; and since not even the amateurs support him (20 no, 14 yes, three abstentions), he has none of the camps on his side.
Koch & Co. will have to fear the next few days for other reasons. There are always new, increasingly delicate questions about a lavishly endowed contract with a communications consultant that was launched in spring 2019. In this context, there are now invoices from the consultant with the environment of the DFB service provider Esecon (SZ of April 30). Esecon is the forensic science company from Berlin that has also been docked with the DFB since spring 2019 and tracks down inconsistencies there internally.
Part of the smoldering contract problem is more and more recognizable the question since when and how well Koch and the ominous advisor have known each other. Exciting meetings of the duo from 2012 and 2016 are documented. Internal documents provide evidence of further joint appearances very close to the unveiling of the 2006 World Cup affair in autumn 2015. The DFB did not specifically answer inquiries about this. Perhaps the already alarmed examination board now has to expand its activities further.