FRANKFURT: Politician Reinhard Grindel has been voted in as new president of the German football federation with a declared intention of clearing up the mess left by predecessor Wolfgang Niersbach writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Grindel, 55, has been a member of the governing CDU in the Bundestag since 2002 and was a unanimous choice after being proposed by the regional associations of the DFB last November.
Niersbach had been forced to quit in the confusion which followed revelations about secret payments to and from the bid and organising committees of the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
Judicial and tax investigations are continuing into the affair in both Germany and Switzerland where Niersbach remains a member of the executive committees of both world and European federations FIFA and UEFA.
Grindel studied law in Hamburg then worked as a political journalist in radio and television in Kiel, Bonn, Berlin and Brussels before turning directly to politics.
He was senior vice-president of the Niedersacken (Lower Saxony) football federation from 2011 to 2014 and is vice-chairman of the trustees of the Robert Enke Foundation.
He progressed on to the national football stage with his appointment as treasurer of the DFB in October 2013.
Grindel, voted in by an extraordinary council of the DFB, has not entirely escaped attention over the World Cup cash scandal because of his role in overseeing the body’s financial affairs in the past three years. He has denied any wrongdoing.
One of his priorities will be to study demands for greater transparency within the DFB and a review of its responsibilities as a non-profit-making organisation.
Last month the DFB promoted Friedrich Curtius as new general secretary in place of Helmut Sandrock, another of the casualties of the World Cup cash controversy.
Sandrock is among six senior former DFB officials who face FIFA ethics proceedings over the scandal along with Franz Beckenbauer, Niersbach and fellow former German president Theo Zwanziger, ex-general secretary Horst R Schmidt and former chief financial officer Stefan Hans.
Curtius, who has worked for the DFB since joining the governing body following his law studies in 2006, was officially appointed to his own new post today.