FIFA ethics body wants 2-year ban for ex-German soccer head Niersbach

Fri May 20, 2016 8:02am EDT
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ZURICH (Reuters) - Former German football association (DFB) chief Wolfgang Niersbach faces a possible two-year ban from soccer following an investigation by FIFA into alleged irregularities over the awarding of the 2006 World Cup.

Niersbach, who still sits on the world soccer body's Council as well as Europe's UEFA Executive Committee, resigned from the DFB presidency in November after he was unable to explain a 6.7 million euro ($7.52 million) payment from the German World Cup organisers to FIFA.

On Friday a report from the investigatory chamber of FIFA's ethics committee - an independent body - found Niersbach had violated its ethics code and recommended he be banned for two years from all football-related activity and fined 30,000 Swiss francs ($30,300)

Niersbach, who has repeatedly denied all wrongdoing, said he disagreed with the severity of the recommendations.

"The recommendations for sanctions by the investigatory chamber are inexplicable," Niersbach said in a statement.

He said he was being investigated now for failing to inform FIFA's ethics commission last year of the developments regarding the 2006 affair.

"As it is a question of honour and in order to protect my personal I will oppose this request with all possible legal means."

The committee's adjudicatory chamber said it had opened formal proceedings against Niersbach - who was a vice president of the 2006 organising committee - following the investigatory chamber's recommendation.

Niersbach is also under investigation by the Frankfurt prosecutor for suspected tax evasion over the payment to FIFA.   Continued...

FIFA executive committee member Wolfgang Niersbach walks out of the stage during the Extraordinary FIFA Congress in Zurich, Switzerland February 26, 2016.  REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann