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German Football Association president resigns after calling the vice president a Nazi

Is the organization on the verge of an implosion?

The Value Of Amateur Football - Digital DFB Press Conference Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images for DFB

Things just keep getting better and better for the dysfunctional DFB. In the latest scandal President Fritz Keller has resigned following an outburst in his longstanding conflict with DFB Vice President Rainer Koch.

On April 23 of this year former Freiburg President compared his vice president, who is a judge by profession, to notorious Nazi judge Roland Freisler. Despite a rather tepid apology this had led to Keller resigning effective yesterday. In addition the DFB’s ethics commission has opened up proceedings against Keller.

This leaves the organization teetering on the brink of functional collapse. The chairman had previously been the subject of a vote of no confidence by the regional representatives, who, like Koch are more concerned with the amateur side of the game. He survived that vote but a clear split between those more concerned with the amateur game and those representing the professional clubs has emerged and seems on the brink of boiling over into open warfare.

To make things more interesting Keller is under criminal investigation for “revealing business secrets” when a mysterious private consulting contract originating with the FA made its way into the hands of a German TV station.

Koch seems to be following the recent trend at the DFB where immediate past president Reinhard Grindel stepped down after receiving an expensive watch from a Ukranian Oligarch (after handling the Ozil matter with such grace and aplomb) and his predecessor, Wolfgang Niersbach was forced out when he received a questionable payment relating to Germany’s successful bid to host the 2006 World Cup.

While Koch will be temporarily filling in for the departed Keller, he has already publicly stated that he will not be continuing on past the end of his current term. The current general secretary Friedrich Curtius, has also announced he will be leaving his post early.

Finally, The Athletic reports that there are rumours that the professional clubs and the regional sub-federations will call a special board meeting to oust Curtius, Koch and treasurer Stephan Osnabrugge, a further member of the Koch/Curtius camp. This left one DFB employee to bemoan to The Athletic that they are concerned that there will literally not be enough chairs filled to finalize planned structural changes.

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