“Desolate leadership situation”, “Resistance and walls”: Fritz Keller uses his resignation for a sweeping blow

Fritz Keller officially resigned as President of the German Football Association (DFB) on Monday. That didn’t change anything about the association’s crisis. It is completely open who will succeed Keller.

At the end there was a sentence that the failed president himself had refuted in his anger looking back. “It was an honor for me to serve football to the best of my ability,” said Fritz Keller, concluding his written farewell to the German Football Association (DFB). That it was really an honor for the 64-year-old can be highly doubted after Keller’s frustration-ridden blow against his opponents on the day of his resignation.

Keller, who with his departure drew the conclusions from the Nazi scandal he had caused, denounced a “desolate leadership situation” with over 800 words on Monday. “My misconduct occurred in an environment that was shameful for the DFB,” wrote Keller: “My resignation will not solve the problems within the DFB and football.” The ex-boss therefore called for a “staff renewal at the top” – and referred to his internal opponents.

“The DFB has to change. It has to regain its credibility, the trust in its integrity and performance,” emphasized Keller: “In this situation, I was unable to achieve a trusting, reliable and collegial cooperation within the DFB committees . ” According to Keller, the whole thing “had nothing to do with proper association management”. He had encountered resistance and walls “within the DFB” “in every phase” of the implementation of his principles.

After the end of Keller, the first two Vice-Presidents Rainer Koch (amateurs) and Peter Peters (professionals) are to lead the crisis-plagued association on an interim basis until the Bundestag is brought forward at the beginning of next year. Who should be the new DFB boss is completely open. Keller demanded that the new management “clarify all possible irregularities and misconduct” by “external” specialists.

DFB President: Fritz Keller is no longer sustainable in the end

His predecessors Wolfgang Niersbach and Reinhard Grindel, who also had to take their hats prematurely, shared this fate. Numerous names are now being discussed as candidates for the ejection seat, but no one has yet declared their willingness.

Keller’s tenure was marked by an ongoing power struggle in the hopelessly divided leadership. There were also investigations by the judiciary against association officials and the problems as a result of the corona pandemic.

Keller did not manage to clear up the numerous inconsistencies within the DFB. Even in the scandal surrounding the 2006 World Cup, the winemaker and restaurateur was unable to provide any new facts, although Keller had announced this for months.

In the end, Keller was no longer acceptable because he had compared his deputy Koch in a meeting with the notorious Nazi judge Roland Freisler. For this reason, Keller was the first DFB president to answer before the association’s internal sports court. A judgment is expected in the coming days.

In addition to Keller, General Secretary Friedrich Curtius is also expected to leave the DFB. The contract of Keller’s adversary must first be terminated. Treasurer Stephan Osnabrügge only wants to remain in office until the Bundestag.

In addition to greater female influence, Winkler is calling for innovations to be withdrawn. In particular, the president should be given policy authority again: “This function of ‘Federal President as DFB President’ did not work and we must therefore talk about it at the next Bundestag.”

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