German FA president, Wolfgang Niersbach, resigns amid FIFA scandal


German football federation (DFB) chief Wolfgang Niersbach has left his post as the scandal surrounding the bidding process to host the 2006 World Cup in Germany continues.

Niersbach, 64, was appointed as the leader of the German FA in March 2012 and from 2007-12 he was the general secretary of the DFB.

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The sports official, who has a background in journalism, is alleged to have been part of the scandal which saw the DFB pay FIFA for World Cup votes to host the 2006 World Cup.

German publication Spiegel claims that soccer’s governing body in Germany made a $7.2 million payment to FIFA to buy votes to host the tournament.

On Monday the Associated Press is reporting that Niersbach resigned following an extraordinary general meeting which was called by the DFB and held in Frankfurt. They also say Niersbach “told reporters after an emergency meeting of the federation that he’s talking ‘political responsibility’ for the affair.”

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The allegations took a sinister turn last week as police raided the DFB headquarters and said that three men, including Niersbach, were under investigation for serious tax fraud surrounding a payment to FIFA. Niersbach signed off on the 2006 tax return, which included the DFB payment to FIFA, in his role as general secretary which began in 2007. Niersbach is also an Executive Committee member of both UEFA and FIFA.

This latest news comes as German soccer has been rocked by scandal in recent months, with legendary figure Franz Beckenbauer also currently embroiled in an investigation by FIFA but the details of their probe against the former German national team captain and World Cup winner as a player and coach, has yet to be revealed.