FRANKFURT: Several presidents of German grassroots regional federations have passed a vote of no confidence in DFB president Fritz Keller and demanded that he resign.

Also under increasing pressure to quit is DFB secretary-general Friedrich Curtius. The two men have been at loggerheads for the best part of the past year.

The latest controversy erupted after a meeting when Keller compared DFB vice-president Rainer Koch to Roland Freisler, the head of the Nazi courts in the 1940s. The latter had participated in the Wannsee conference which decided to ‘holocaust.

Keller has since apologized to Koch, saying his words were “totally inappropriate, especially for victims of Nazism” but ruled out any possible resignation.

The heads of the 5 regional associations and 21 local associations said in a statement that Keller’s remarks were “totally unacceptable” and condemned them “in the strongest possible terms”.

“The president’s comments are incompatible with the principles and values ​​of the associations,” they added as Keller and Curtius asked for time to consider the demands calling on them to resign.