Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
The President of the German Football Association (DFB), Wolfgang Niersbach, has resigned ‘with immediate effect’. In a statement posted on the DFB’s website, Niersbach said, ‘I maintain and want to make it absolutely clear that I had no knowledge of the background of the flow of cash that is being investigated.’ However Niersbach said that he was taking ‘political responsibility’ as a consequence of the current allegations over tax fraud and slush funds.
Niersbach, who has repeatedly denied allegations that there had been a ‘slush fund’ and vote buying in relation to the awarding of the right to host the 2006 FIFA World Cup, explained how he had been in his post from the first day of Germany’s bid. He maintained that, in all those years, he worked ‘not only with great passion, but always clean, confidently and correctly.’ ‘I can say with a clear conscience that I have personally done nothing wrong,’ read the statement.
Last week the Sports Integrity Initiative reported that Niersbach’s home, as well as those of his predecessor Theo Zwanziger and former DFB Secretary General Horst Schmid, had been searched by police as part of a raid over allegations of tax evasion in relation to the 2006 World Cup. While Niersbach has denied the allegations of a slush fund, Zwanzinger told German newspaper Der Spiegel that ‘it was clear that there was a slush fund.’
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