Niersbach, head of German FA, resigns

Head of German football takes responsibility for controversy surrounding the €6.7m payment made to Fifa.

Wolfgang Niersbach, president of the German Football Association (DFB), has resigned amid allegation so tax evasion.

Investigators searched the premises of the DFB headquarters in Frankfurt last week, as well as the homes of Niersbach, his predecessor Theo Zwanziger and former general secretary Horst Schmidt.

Niersbach told reporters after an emergency meeting of the federation that he’s taking “political responsibility” for the affair.

Prosecutors are investigating allegations of payments to Fifa delegates in a bid to secure the hosting rights for the World Cup 2006.

Niersbach attended a meeting in Frankfurt with leading football officials and presidents of the 16 regional associations which make up the German Football Association (DFB).

The hearings were focused on the report in weekly news magazine Spiegel last month which alleged that a €6.7-million payment made by the DFB to Fifa was used to buy votes in order to secure the hosting of the 2006 World Cup.

Niersbach appeared relaxed and confident as he arrived for the showdown meeting.

“I am very confident that I will be able to answer all the questions from colleagues on the board and from presidents of regional federations – answers that they are expecting now and that the public is expecting,” Niersbach told TV news channel N24 as he arrived at the DFB headquarters.