News : Power struggle at the DFB: Basis calls for a question of trust – sport
The showdown is imminent in the German Football Association (DFB). After months of power struggles within the leadership team and the inglorious climax, a Nazi derailment between President Fritz Keller and his Vice President Rainer Koch, it seems inevitable that there will be changes at the top of the association. The results of two audits could also contribute to this – their interim reports already depict a highly sensitive scenario around a mysterious consultancy contract and lead to massive, including personal, attacks in the background. On Saturday, the representatives of the 21 regional associations and the top of the DFB will meet, now the Schleswig-Holstein regional chief Uwe Döring is pushing forward with a far-reaching demand.
On Wednesday he also pleaded with the SZ for a collective withdrawal of the top: “The point now is that the people in the presidential committee have to ask the vote of confidence.” The DFB needs a completely new management body.
There are currently five people on the Presidential Committee: President Keller and his three opponents, Vice Koch, Secretary General Friedrich Curtius and Treasurer Stephan Osnabrügge. The fifth member is Peter Peters, who as head of the supervisory board of the German Football League (DFL) automatically moves in and has supported Keller so far.
According to SZ information, there is sympathy for this approach in other regional associations, which could lead to an early election Bundestag in late summer and clarify the power struggle that is currently escalating. However, those involved fight doggedly for their offices; It is still unclear how the balance of power is distributed.
There are no withdrawals from Keller
On Monday it became known that Keller had already called his Vice Koch “Freisler” in a presidium meeting on Friday and compared it with Roland Freisler, the notorious chairman of the People’s Court under National Socialism. Many amateur representatives distanced themselves from Keller’s choice of words, as did the league that has supported him so far. Curtius and Osnabrugge declared in a joint statement that Keller’s statement was “unacceptable” and was “condemned in the strongest possible way”. You rely on the ethics committee to handle the case.
However, it is also noticeable that at least in the 48 hours after the incident became known, no withdrawal requests were made to Keller. That was also not the case in the meetings that followed on Friday. It was also registered that Curtius and Osnabrügge only gave their opinion as a duo – and not together with other voting members of the Presidium. In addition to four league representatives, these include six amateur officials. The influential regional chiefs initially also held back in public.
The Munich Higher Regional Court did not see “Freisler” as a defamatory criticism
On Tuesday, the regional associations also circulated a ruling that was just passed by the Munich Higher Regional Court in 2017 – where DFB Vice Koch worked full-time for many years before he switched to his football function. At that time, a lawyer had compared the judges of the Senate with Nazi judge Freisler, several times in writing. The OLG overturned a conviction by the local court: The Freisler comparison was not a disparaging criticism.
Now the question is how the ethics committee called not by Koch but “interestingly by Secretary General Curtius” (Landeschef Döring) sees the case. In any case, it has to deal with a dozen advertisements that one of the two sides involved in the power struggle brings to it, but it does not want to comment at first.
The focus is still on working with the consultant Diekmann
In addition to Keller’s derailment, the development of an expert investigation into the secretive collaboration between the DFB and communications consultant Diekmann also contributed to the escalation. This contract was initiated by the Curtius warehouse in spring 2019, the matter cost the association a good 360,000 euros and has been viewed critically by Keller’s warehouse for a long time.
Last week, the association’s independent audit committee, headed by Ulrich Ruf, the former Stuttgart CFO, presented an explosive interim report. According to SZ information, it says that a more transparent handling of the contract could have avoided the current escalation. The auditors, in unison with an external auditing company, complain about a worrying lack of basic information; There are even considerations regarding a forensic examination or a voluntary disclosure. Upon request, the DFB stated that there had been legally incorrect considerations due to facts that had not yet been fully ascertained and incorrect assumptions. He requested a correction, apparently until the end of this month. Some members of the review panel, it is said, feel pressured.