Showdown in Potsdam: At the weekend, President Fritz Keller fights to stay at the top of the DFB after his Nazi settlement. But his opponents must not be too sure either.
The situation is completely messed up, the camps are hopelessly divided – and in the middle of it the badly ailing DFB President Fritz Keller is fighting for his office: When the bosses of the 21 regional associations and the implacable leadership of the German Football Association come together on Saturday in a Potsdam hotel When the two-day crisis summit come together, the focus is of course on Keller’s future after his unspeakable Nazi comparison. But there is much more at stake for the DFB – the pressure on Keller’s opponents is also growing.
To break this Gordian knot of a confused power struggle, convening an extraordinary Bundestag with new elections in the summer could be the only solution. At least that’s what Keller and his supporters hope for. The 64-year-old is heavily criticized after he compared his Vice President Rainer Koch with the Nazi judge Roland Freisler in a meeting, and is seen by many as no longer acceptable. Keller has apologized several times for this, but has ruled out resignation.
In a letter on the DFB intranet, from which the picture quoted on Friday, Keller even went over to the counterattack. “Why do you think the fourth president is now up for debate after three resignations by presidents? Because he is inconvenient, asks unpleasant questions and demands clarification where there is an obvious need,” he wrote and demanded: “Let us put an end to this game together, let’s end this culture of fear. “
For the President of the Schleswig-Holstein Football Association, Uwe Döring, the weekend is not about a possible resignation of Keller anyway – but about strengthening the DFB boss, who is curtailed in his competencies. “It can’t be that Keller always gets the cakes in his face – but it’s basically just the Grüß-August,” said Döring Sports show: “Even a resignation from Keller would not change anything about this problem.”
DFB: Curtius, Osnabrugge and Koch are also in the line of fire
Apart from that, the preparations for the showdown in the background were already in full swing. In order to convene an extraordinary Bundestag, Keller needs either the application of six state associations, two regional associations or the German Football League. It remains to be seen whether there will be sufficient approval for this project. Keller’s opponents want to prevent this by all means and are said to have tried massively in advance to heat up the mood against Keller, as it could suddenly go to them too.
Because Secretary General Friedrich Curtius, Treasurer Stephan Osnabrügge and Koch are also in the line of fire. At the DFB ethics committee are after SID-Information about a dozen reciprocal advertisements about the power struggle before, Curtius’ report of Keller’s derailment was only the tip of the iceberg. At the center of the conflict is an opaque and high-value contract with a communications consultant from 2019.
As the Southgerman newspaper reported, Koch, Curtius and Osnabrugge initiated this contract and are coming under increasing pressure due to numerous inconsistencies. The internal audit committee of the DFB is said to have already asked for legal assistance in order to protect itself against possible reactions from the officials concerned.
The situation is highly explosive, the anger over the unworthy spectacle full of intrigues and indiscretions is enormous. Not only have numerous state associations under the initiator Döring drafted a letter of protest because of the “desolate” state of the umbrella association. Also in the DFB headquarters on the Otto-Fleck-Schneise in Frankfurt asked for SID-Information from the works council in a letter on behalf of all employees to put an end to this unspeakable power struggle.
One thing is clear: There can be no “business as usual” in this constellation at the top. For SHFV boss Döring it is about “that the people currently belonging to the presidential committee have to ask the question of trust”, as he did SID said: “We really need a whole new governing body.” “Actually” could already be deleted at the weekend …