ZURICH: Wolfgang Niersbach, former president of the German DFB, must serve out the remainder of his one-year ban from football after failing in an appeal to the FIFA appeal committee against the ethics chamber judgment writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Niersbach, a member of the world federation council and the UEFA executive committee, was suspended last July for ethics breaches concerning his failure to report findings about possible misconduct concerning the awarding of the 2006 FIFA World Cup to Germany.
The 66-year-old had been a senior member of the bid and then organising committees before becoming DFB chief executive and, subsequently, its president.
Niersbach’s appeal has been dismissed by an appeal committee hearing chaired by Bermuda’s Larry Mussenden.
A statement said: “After careful analysis and consideration of all mitigating circumstances, the opinion of the appeal committee is that the behaviour of Wolfgang Niersbach constituted a breach of Art. 18 and Art. 19 (conflicts of interest) . . . and considered a one-year ban from all national and international football activities to be proportionate.”
Niersbach’s suspension remains in effect until July 25.
Still denying wrongdoing, he said later: “The decision is extremely hard for me because I remain of the opinion that the ethics committee’s judgment is completely excessive.”
Niersbach has accepted he must resign from both the UEFA exco and the FIFA Council and is likely to be replaced by his DFB successor, Reinhard Grindel. UEFA holds its congress on April 5 in Helsinki.
Niersbach is under investigation in both Germany and Switzerland over his role in the 2006 World Cup bidding cash scandal.