News : State and regional presidents call on Fritz Keller to resign – sport
Badly damaged, DFB boss Fritz Keller sealed himself off after the state and regional associations demanded his resignation in the escalated power struggle. Numerous camera teams, photographers and journalists waited in vain at the Kongresshotel am Templiner See in Potsdam for the crashingly failed President of the German Football Association (DFB), who has been facing extinction since Sunday after his Nazi settlement.
As the DFB announced after the two-day crisis summit, the 21 heads of state had come to the decision that the 64-year-old should take his hat back after only about one and a half years at the top of the largest individual sports association in the world. But also Secretary General Friedrich Curtius, one of Keller’s bitter opponents in the dispute that had been going on for months, was withdrawn in a secret ballot.
The convening of an extraordinary DFB Bundestag – actually Keller’s hope – was thrown out. “The Conference of Presidents of the Regional and State Associations disapproves of the comparison made by DFB President Fritz Keller between 1st Vice President Rainer Koch and Nazi judge Roland Freisler,” said a statement after the showdown. Such a statement was “completely unacceptable and stunned. It is condemned in the strongest possible terms. The President’s statement is incompatible with the principles and values of the associations.”
The invitation to resign brought a clear majority: 26: 9 with two abstentions. Keller’s resignation is “necessary to avert further damage”. The DFB wrote that the President and Curtius did not want to comment directly on this and asked for time to think about it.
Vice-President Rainer Koch and Treasurer Stephan Osnabrügge, on the other hand, had expressed the confidence of the regional leaders. Actually, the implacable top management had agreed in January to “immediately undertake one last joint attempt” to work together.
Keller had come under massive criticism after he compared Koch in a meeting with the Nazi judge Roland Freisler. After the conference, the two quarreling officials spoke out, but Keller’s apology was still not accepted by Koch. “Fritz Keller and I exchanged a detailed, respectful conversation in which he once again conveyed his apology to me,” Koch was quoted by the DFB as saying that he had “accepted this apology.
I leave an assessment of the matter to the responsible committees and therefore don’t want to comment on the matter further. “The incident also concerns the ethics committee of the DFB. already addressed to the association employees in advance – and thus responded to a letter from the works council on behalf of all employees.
According to SID information, this calls for an end to this unspeakable power struggle. In addition, the DFB boss should have explained the background of his misconduct to the ethics committee. The chaos also causes a lack of understanding in the Bundesliga. Keller’s verbal derailment “unfortunately fits into the picture that the German Football Association has been giving for some time,” said Borussia Mönchengladbach’s sports director Max Eberl of Welt am Sonntag. At the same time, he turned the focus on Keller’s internal adversaries.
One must also ask the question, “How can it get to the point where something like this happens within the leadership of the DFB”. After all, Curtius, Koch and Osnabrugge are also in the line of fire. At the center of the conflict is an opaque and high-value contract with a communications consultant from 2019. As the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported, Koch, Curtius and Osnabrügge initiated this contract.
Because in these days, the ousted DFB President Reinhard Grindel intervened – with explosive statements about the summer fairy tale affair. In a ZDF interview, Grindel said that Koch knew earlier than previously known about the revelations by the news magazine Der Spiegel about questionable payments in connection with the 2006 World Cup, but “did not inform the Presidium or at least the President”.
Koch rejected the allegations and had the Bavarian Football Association (BFV) reported that “Reinhard Grindel’s statements are not true. It is not surprising that Mr. Grindel is making these statements at this point in time and is deliberately making them public”.