Wolfgang Niersbach, former president of the German DFB, must serve out the remainder of his one-year ban from football after failing in an appeal to the FIFA appeal committe against the ethics chamber judgment.
Niersbach, a member of the world federation council and the UEFA executive committee, was suspended last July for ethics breaches concerning his failure to report findings about possible misconduct concerning the awarding of the 2006 FIFA World Cup to Germany.
He had been a senior member of the bid and then organising committees before becoming DFB chief executive and, subsequently, its president.
Niersbach’s appeal has been dismissed by an appeal committee hearing chaired by Bermuda’s Larry Mussenden.
A statement said: “After careful analysis and consideration of all mitigating circumstances, the opinion of the appeal committee is that the behaviour of Wolfgang Niersbach constituted a breach of Art. 18 and Art. 19 (conflicts of interest) . . . and considered a one-year ban from all national and international football activities to be proportionate.”
Niersbach’s suspension remains in effect until July 25.
In the circumstances he is likely to be replaced on both the UEFA exco and the FIFA Council by his DFB successor, Reinhard Grindel. UEFA holds its congress on April 5 in Helsinki.
Niersbach is under investigation in both Germany and Switzerland over his role in the 2006 World Cup bidding cash scandal which has taken a new turn after investigators managed to open a file entitled ‘Earthquake.’
This should throw new light on the role played by Jack Warner in the awarding of the 2006 World Cup.
Warner is the Trinidadian former FIFA vice-president and CONCACAF president who is contesting an extradition application from the United States Justice Department which has placed him under indictment in the FIFAGate corruption scandal.
German prosecutors have confirmed having opened a German federation file which had escaped attention during the DFB’s own inquiry into events surrounding a mysterious loan to the 2006 bid committee from the late Robert Louis-Dreyfus, former owner of sportswear giant Adidas.
Prosecutors are investigating several members of the 2006 World Cup organising committee – including Niersbach and president Franz Beckenbauer – on suspicion of tax evasion in connection with a payment of €6.7m for a World Cup gala event which never took place.
Documents and electronic records from the DFB are under scrutiny by prosecutors but, until now, the Warner file had remained untouched because of concerns over the high cost of breaking the encryption. This has now been resolved and the file passed to investigators.
Warner’s role became a subject for speculation after the emergence of a draft contract between him and the World Cup bid committee a matter of days before the crucial vote in the FIFA executive committee. Germany beat South Africa by one vote in controversial circumstances.