HELSINKI: Germany is back at the top table of the world and European game after the latest round of elections at UEFA Congress in Helsinki writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

The German DFB has been without a voice in the most important bodies of FIFA and the European federation since Wolfgang Niersbach was bannd fo a year by the world body’s ethics committee for breaches in connection witn the 2006 World Cup cash scandal.

Niersbach, who had been successively chief executive and then president of the DFB, has always denied wrongdoing.

However the crisis caused turmoil within the DFB which was eased only after the election last year of politician Reinhard Grindel as new president.

Grindel was elected unopposed by UEFA Congress to a two-year tenure on FIFA Council.

He intends to prove a more solid and reliable representative than other controversial committee predecessors including not onlt Niersbach but Theo Zwanziger and Franz Beckenbauer.

The latter pair are also investigation for their knowledge and involvement of the 2006 scandal.

Elected by UEFA Congress for four-year terms on FIFA Council were new members in Sandor Csanyi (Hungary), Dejan Savicevic (Montenegro) and Costakis Koutsokoumnis (Cyprus).

All were unopposed because Icelandic candidate Geir Thorsteinsson withdrew and Russian candidate Vitaly Mutko failed eligibility checks because of a conflict of roles since he is also Deputy Prime Minister.

A special election will be held in September for a fourth FIFA Council spot.

Poland’s former World Cup star Zbigniew Boniek was among eight candidates elected to places on the UEFA exco along with Grindel, John Delaney (Republic of Ireland), Michele Uva (Italy), Karl-Erik Nilsson (Sweden), Michael van Praag (Netherlands), David Gill (England) and Servet Yardimci (Turkey).

Candidates from Albania, Azerbaijan and Wales were not elected, and two from Kazakhstan and Cyprus withdrew.