ZURICH: Theo Zwanziger, outgoing German delegate on the FIFA excutive committee, has been left looking silly by the latest ruling from the world federation’s ethics committee writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Zwanziger, former president of the German football federation, has been using the last few months of his FIFA tenure to launch an increasing number of rants against the Qatar World Cup award, the DFB, his successor Wolfgang Nierbach and German champions Bayern Munich and their senior management.
Last month he filed an inquiry request with the ethics committee for a ruling on the terms of remuneration of his DFB successor, Wolfgang Niersbach. The former chief executive of the DFB had moved over to take over the presidency – an honorary role – while still continuing to receive his retirement pension.
Zwanziger, whose once-close working relationship with Niersbach has descended into open conflict, wanted a ruling on whether his successor was guilty of conflict of interest.
Clearly Zwanziger hoped to embarrass Niersbach ahead of this month’s UEFA Congress at which Niersbach is expected to be chosen as the European federation’s replacement for his old boss at the FIFA top table.
Zwanziger’s ploy has backfired and left him looking increasingly foolish after the ethics ruling that Niersbach’s relationship with the DFB is perfectly correct and above board.
In the last fortnight Zwanziger, once extremely cautious about his appearances before the media, has taken to the radio waves and newspaper interviews in Germany to rail against the World Cup hosting in Qatar in 2022.
Zwanziger was not a member of the FIFA exco at the time of time of the vote in December 2010. The German member was then Franz Beckenbauer whose initial preference for 2022 was always considered to be Australia.
The Ethics Committee statement:
“Investigation reveals no evidence of Code of Ethics violation”
ZURICH: The investigatory chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee has completed its preliminary investigation in connection with the remuneration arrangements of the president of the German Football Association.
The investigation determined that no provisions of the FIFA Code of Ethics had been violated in the case in question.
During the course of its examination of the pension income and remuneration arrangements of the President of the German Football Association (DFB), Wolfgang Niersbach, as requested by the German FIFA Executive Committee member Dr Theo Zwanziger on 10 February 2015, the investigatory chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee inspected and analysed all relevant documents, interviewed those involved in the matter and carried out further enquiries with those in the latter’s circles. Professor Wolf-Dietrich Walker of the Justus Liebig University in Giessen was also requested to provide his expert opinion in connection with this investigation, which contributed to the investigatory chamber’s findings.
Based on this preliminary investigation, the investigatory chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee has concluded that neither Wolfgang Niersbach nor any other person has violated the Code of Ethics.
The investigatory chamber has accordingly closed its file on the matter.