FRANKFURT: Wolfgang Niersbach’s grip on a place at the top table of world and European football is looking ever weaker after the latest indication that his DFB successor also wants to replace him in UEFA and FIFA writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

Niersbach, who quit as German federation president over the 2006 World Cup cash scandal, remains a member of the governing boards of both the European and international governing bodies.

However he does so only under the tolerance of challenging a ban from the game ordered by the FIFA ethics committee over issues arising out of the decade-old World Cup farrago.

Last week Niersbach was notified that the Swiss authorities have launched a criminal investigation into the roles played by himself and fellow 2006 officials Franz Beckenbauer, Theo Zwanziger and Horst R Schmidt.


Now new DFB president Reinhard Grindel has signalled his own interest in running next spring for a seat on the UEFA executive which would almost certainly bring with it automatic promotion on to the FIFA Council.

Niersbach’s tenure, whatever the outcome of his appeals against his ethics ban, is due to expire at next year’s UEFA Congress in Helsinki in March.

Grindel has told local media in Germany: “If there should be a signal from other associations and our executive considers it a good idea then I would be prepared [to stand for UEFA].

“There is a tradition that the respective DFB president should be proposed for such offices.”

The CDU politician is already lined up to join one of the major FIFA committees after next month’s council meeting in Zurich.