German Football Association president resigns after calling vice-president a Nazi

Things just keep getting better for the dysfunctional DFB. In the latest scandal, President Fritz Keller resigned following an explosion in his long-standing conflict with DFB Vice-President Rainer Koch.

On April 23 of this year, the former president of Friborg compared his vice-president, who is a judge by profession, to famous Nazi judge Roland Freisler. Despite a rather lukewarm apology, this had led to Keller’s resignation effective yesterday. In addition, the ethics committee of the DFB opened proceedings against Keller.

This leaves the organization on the brink of functional collapse. The president had previously been the subject of a vote of no confidence from regional representatives, who, like Koch, are more concerned with the amateur side of the game. He survived that vote, but a clear split between those who are. more concerned with amateur play and those who represent professional clubs has emerged and seems on the verge of tipping into open warfare.

To make matters more interesting, Keller is under criminal investigation for “revealing trade secrets” when a mysterious FA contract for private consultancy slips into the hands of a German TV station. .

Koch appears to be following the recent trend in the DFB where incumbent President Reinhard Grindel resigned after receiving an expensive watch from a Ukrainian oligarch (after dealing with the Ozil case with such a grace and aplomb) and his predecessor, Wolfgang Niersbach, was sent off when he received a questionable payment linked to Germany’s successful bid to host the 2006 World Cup.

While Koch will temporarily replace the late Keller, he has already publicly stated that he will not continue beyond the end of his current term. Current Secretary General Friedrich Curtius has also announced that he will step down earlier.

Finally, The Athletic reports that there are rumors that pro clubs and regional sub-federations will call a special board meeting to oust Curtius, Koch and treasurer Stephan Osnabrugge, another member of Camp Koch / Curtius. This left a DFB employee to lament at The Athletic that he feared there were literally not enough full chairs to finalize planned structural changes.

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