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Grindel secures extended mandate as DFB president, former spy chief to lead new ethics body

Reinhard Grindel has been re-elected as president of the German Football Association (DFB), while Klaus Kinkel, a former spy chief and later Germany’s justice and foreign minister, has been appointed to lead a new ethics body formed in the wake of the scandal surrounding the 2006 Fifa World Cup.

DFB delegates voted unanimously to return Grindel to the post, which he has held on a caretaker basis since April, at the organisation’s national conference. His mandate has now been extended through to 2019.

Grindel originally took the position after his predecessor, Wolfgang Niersbach, resigned in November 2015. Earlier this year, the DFB commissioned a report into alleged irregularities surrounding its successful bid to host the 2006 World Cup.

The report, which was published in March, claimed that although there was no evidence of Fifa Executive Committee members being paid to vote for Germany, payments were transferred to at least one former Fifa official through a myriad of accounts involving several companies and individuals. The payment is the subject of an investigation by Swiss and German prosecutors.

In July, the adjudicatory chamber of Fifa’s Ethics Committee handed a one-year ban to Niersbach, who served as a vice-president of the 2006 World Cup Local Organising Committee (LOC). The adjudicatory chamber found that Niersbach failed to report findings about possible misconduct concerning the awarding of the 2006 World Cup, including potential breaches of the Fifa Code of Ethics (FCE).

Kinkel has now been appointed as the head of a five-member DFB ethics committee charged with investigating any allegations of “illegal or unethical” activities. Delegates also approved a plan to establish a compliance management system for the DFB, which, with six million members, is the largest single sports federation in the world.

The 80-year-old Kinkel served as the head of West Germany's intelligence agency from 1978-82 and became the justice minister of a newly reunited Germany in 1991. He also served as foreign minister from 1992 to 1998.

Commenting on the reforms, Grindel said: “I see the clear vote of the delegates as confirming the path we have taken. We have revised the DFB in the past months, we have implemented the announced measures for more transparency and integrity – we have kept our word.”

Grindel also pledged to continue efforts to secure hosting rights to the Uefa Euro 2024 national team tournament, adding: “The establishment of the 'New DFB' is a central future project for the association, and I will do my utmost to ensure that Germany wins the Euro 2024 (hosting rights).”