BERLIN (Reuters) – The German Football Association proposed Freiburg’s Fritz Keller as their new president on Thursday as the world’s biggest single sports association looks to end the search for a successor to Reinhard Grindel, who resigned in April.
Keller, who has been chairman at Freiburg since 2010, was the only name put forward by a DFB commission in charge of finding a new head of the seven million-member association.
Grindel stepped down after coming under pressure over income he received from a DFB subsidiary and a watch he had been given by Ukrainian businessman and soccer administrator Grigory Surkis.
He was the third consecutive DFB president to be embroiled in a scandal after his predecessors Wolfgang Niersbach and Theo Zwanziger were indicted in Switzerland earlier this month over a payment for the 2006 World Cup.
The DFB is now hoping Keller, who became a Freiburg vice president back in 1991, can again steady the ship.
Small-budget club Freiburg have been known for their no-nonsense approach to the game, playing an exciting brand of football while also producing scores of talented players who have moved on to join bigger clubs.
“Fritz Keller is without a doubt an unusual personality with all the qualities for the position of DFB President,” DFB Vice President Rainer Koch said in a statement.
“We are convinced that he is the right man for the future of the DFB.
Keller, an entrepreneur in the field of gastronomy, has been a member of the German football league (DFL) supervisory board since 2016.
The 62-year-old Keller will now be proposed to the local and regional associations and before being officially nominated ahead of the Sept. 27 election.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Nick Mulvenney)