Pressure on DFB boss Keller increases: state and regional presidents demand resignation

According to Nazi comparison
Pressure on DFB boss Keller increases: state and regional presidents demand resignation

Resignation demanded: DFB chairman Fritz Keller

© Arne Dederz / DPA

It gets lonely for DFB boss Fritz Keller. As a consequence of the leadership crisis, he was asked to resign at an extraordinary conference. The association’s works council calls for a profound new beginning.

The presidents of the state and regional associations have withdrawn DFB President Fritz Keller’s confidence and asked him to step down from his position. This is the result of an extraordinary conference this weekend in Potsdam. General secretary Friedrich Curtius was also withdrawn from trust, according to a message distributed by the German Football Association on Sunday. Treasurer Stephan Osnabrügge and Vice President Rainer Koch, however, said the trust was expressed in a secret vote.

In addition, the assembly spoke out against an extraordinary Bundestag. The public pressure on the DFB in its leadership and public image crisis had increased massively in the past few days. The 64-year-old cellar had found it difficult to explain after a Nazi settlement in a presidium meeting in the past few days. He had called his Vice Koch “Freisler” and compared it with Roland Freisler, the chairman of the People’s Court under National Socialism. Keller then apologized to Koch.

+++ Read the DFB’s statement here +++

DFB boss Fritz Keller: Report to the ethics committee

General Secretary Friedrich Curtius and Treasurer Stephan Osnabrügge had sharply criticized Keller for the Nazi comparison. According to “Spiegel” information, Curtius reported the failure of the DFB boss to the association’s ethics committee. “We have great confidence that this decision will restore the credibility of the DFB,” wrote Curtius and Osnabrugge. According to media reports, Keller himself wrote to the committee. In it, the DFB boss should thank you for the opportunity to comment and describe the background. Further details were not initially known. In an emotional entry on the DFB intranet to the association’s employees, Keller is said to have described his Nazi comparison as “a stupid, thoughtless and insulting statement” that contributed significantly to the current poor image of the DFB.

Internally, according to a media report, the DFB works council had previously criticized the external presentation and criticized Keller for his Nazi comparison. The “Bild” newspaper quoted on its website from a letter on the DFB intranet. The German Football Association did not want to comment on this. “The matter was internal, it said.

“Our association gives a disastrous picture in the media coverage,” says the “Bild” in the works council’s letter. There can be no winners, only losers. “We therefore urge the decision-makers once again to immediately take pioneering decisions in the upcoming meetings. With a new start, structural as well as personnel consequences must not be ruled out.”

Vice-presidents would take over upon resignation

Should Keller actually resign, the association’s statutes regulate how to proceed. “If the office of the president ends prematurely or if he is not only temporarily prevented from exercising the office, the representation of the president is incumbent on the two equal first vice-presidents”, it says in the statutes. A new president is then elected at an ordinary or extraordinary Bundestag.

Rainer Koch, who is responsible for the amateurs, and Peter Peters as deputy spokesman for the Presidium of the German Football League are currently taking over the leadership of the DFB. Koch represents the DFB as a member of the executive committee of the European Football Union, Peters has been a member of the council of the world association Fifa for a short time. A temporary double leadership as an interim solution already existed at the DFB when Wolfgang Niersbach (2015) and Reinhard Grindel (2019) left early.

dh / dpa

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