German football federation general secretary resigns
FILE - In this Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014 file photo then FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke listen to questions during a news conference to present the world cup song at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Former FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke has been banned from all soccer-related activity for 12 years by the governing body's ethics committee. The ethics chamber says Friday Feb. 12, 2016 Valcke was found guilty of misconduct related to the use of private jets for personal use, destroyed evidence and the sale of World Cup television rights. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File)

FRANKFURT, Germany: The German football federation general secretary Helmut Sandrock resigned on Friday, one week before the release of a report on Germany’s successful bid for the 2006 World Cup and a dubious payment to FIFA.

Sandrock was to be in Germany’s delegation to the FIFA congress electing a new president on Friday, but withdrew earlier in the week, officially due to health reasons.

He resigned in a move designed to help the federation make a fresh start, the federation (DFB) said.

A DFB statement quoted Sandrock as saying that “for the good of our football and the DFB it is necessary to make a completely new start in a credible and consequent manner, even in matters of personnel.”

Sandrock was the second high-ranking official to resign in recent times after Wolfgang Niersbach quit as president in November.

Top DFB officials have come under fire in connection with an unexplained payment of 6.7 million euros ($7.4 million) to FIFA and corruption accusations ahead of the vote for the 2006 World Cup. The DFB has also been accused of using a slush fund to buy votes for its bid.

FIFA and its suspended former president Sepp Blatter have denied any knowledge of the complex circumstances of the payment.

Niersbach and other former DFB officials are under investigation by Frankfurt prosecutors on suspicion of tax evasion.

A law firm hired by the DFB to investigate the issue is scheduled to issue its report next Friday.

Sandrock became general secretary in March 2011, when Niersbach moved up to president.

A new DFB president will be elected in April.

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