Frankfurt / Main (dpa) – It seemed to fit. A good year ago, the election of Fritz Keller as DFB president promised peace at the top of the German Football Association.
Keller, who left the quiet Breisgau for the DFB, as a man especially for the sales representative. DFB Secretary General Friedrich Curtius, who had been with the association for years, as a man on business. Two different characters, but, hopefully, two that can complement each other perfectly. Apparently a blatant misjudgment.
As the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” reports, the two DFB officials separate deep rifts. Curtius will not attend the DFB executive committee meeting this Friday. He followed the “request of a member of the presidency,” the “SZ” quoted from an email Curtius sent to his colleague in the presidency. The 44-year-old was initially unavailable for a comment. In response to a request from the dpa, the DFB announced that it would not comment on “the media speculation”.
Keller (63), according to the “SZ”, should want Curtius’s contract terminated. The newspaper “Bild” had previously reported that the DFB president wanted to issue a “vote of confidence” in the confused situation. The “SZ” chose the title for his report: “There is only one place”.
Curtius has been general secretary at the DFB since 2016, previously he was head of the office of then DFB president Wolfgang Niersbach. According to “SZ”, Curtius wrote to his colleagues at the presidium that he and Keller on Wednesday were trying to clear up existing misunderstandings. Unfortunately, no reliable solution was found in the conversation. He suggested joint mediation to Keller.
A development with an uncertain outcome, the exact beginning is difficult to determine. There is the affair surrounding the 2006 World Cup and the ominous 6.7 million euros that continues to weigh on the association. Keller had aggressively announced that the association was “very close” to the investigation. And finally, there was the tax attack.
In early October, the Frankfurt prosecutor had the DFB site and private apartments searched by several current and former association officials. It was about suspicion of tax evasion in particularly serious cases. The DFB has now paid around 4.7 million euros, but this does not play a role in the investigation. More negative headlines are likely to follow.
Keller recently remained “convinced of the innocence of those responsible at the DFB”. Curtius, in his email to the presidency, is said to be confident that the investigation will be closed. Should he be convicted of misconduct while working for the DFB, he will immediately make all offices available, he wrote accordingly.