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16th March 2018
The investigatory chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee has found that the pay arrangements of Deutsche Füßball Bund (DFB) President Wolfgang Niersbach do not violate its Code of Ethics. A complaint was filed on 10 February 2015 by Dr. Theo Zwanziger, the German member of FIFA’s Executive Committee whom Niersbach is due to replace at the end of May.
Traditionally, the post of DFB President is an honorary one. Niersbach (pictured) took over from Zwanziger as DFB President in 2012, moving up from his post as General Secretary. As such, he received a pension package from the DFB, an arrangement that was publicly attacked by Zwanziger through the media. This resulted in the DFB asking Zwanziger to resign from his FIFA post on 14 June last year. Zwanziger refused.
‘The allowance for Niersbach corresponds exactly to that of his predecessor Zwanziger’, read that statement. ‘The pension has been examined by experts and is fully compatible with the requirements of a non-profit association’. “From my position as DFB Treasurer, I am familiar with the whole arrangement”, said Reinhard Grindel, DFB Treasurer. “The application shall be equivalent to that of former President Theo Zwanziger. Wolfgang Niersbach’s claim to his pension is reflective of his 24 years of service as a DFB employee.”
‘The FIFA Ethics Committee inspected and analysed all relevant documents, interviewed those involved in the matter and carried out further enquiries with those in the latter’s circles’, read FIFA’s statement. ‘Professor Wolf-Dietrich Walker of the Justus Liebig University in Giessen was also requested to provide his expert opinion in connection with this investigation, which contributed to the investigatory chamber’s findings. Based on this preliminary investigation, the investigatory chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee has concluded that neither Wolfgang Niersbach nor any other person has violated the Code of Ethics. The investigatory chamber has accordingly closed its file on the matter.’