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German Football President Resigns After Receiving €6,000 Watch Gift From Businessman.

 

The German football federation president, Reinhard Grindel, has resigned after coming under increasing pressure following allegations of undeclared earnings, the receipt of a luxury watch and discontent with his leadership.

Grindel, who promised greater transparency after taking over in April 2016, apologised for accepting a €6,000 watch from a Ukrainian businessman, Grigoriy Surkis, who is a Uefa vice president and executive committee member.

“Everyone who knows me knows I am not greedy and have been dealing with compliance issues for years,” Grindel said in a statement.

“Mr Surkis had no financial interest in the DFB. He never asked me for any support, then or after. It was clear at the time he would not run again for Uefa’s Exco, to which he no longer belongs. There was and is no conflict of interest for me.”

The federation said vice presidents Rainer Koch and Reinhard Rauball would take over on an interim basis until September. Koch and Rauball also took over after Grindel’s predecessor, Wolfgang Niersbach, stepped down in November 2015 amid the fallout from allegations that Germany’s bid to host the World Cup in 2006 was helped by bribery. Niersbach’s predecessor, Theo Zwanziger, stepped down in 2012.

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