German soccer chief apologizes for comparing deputy to Nazi judge

BERLIN — German Football Association (DFB) president Fritz Keller has apologized after comparing his deputy to a Nazi judge.

Keller said during a meeting last Friday that vice president of the DFB Rainer Koch was like Roland Freisler, the head of the Nazi party’s court during the 1940s.

Freisler was also a participant at 1942’s Wannsee Conference, where it was decided that 11 million Jews should be sent to death camps.

“Sometimes during controversies words are used that shouldn’t be,” Keller says in a statement.

“I apologized in person and in writing to Rainer Koch, who had the goodness to accept it, my comparison was totally inappropriate, notably towards the victims of Nazism, which I deeply regret,” he adds.

The situation was worsened as Koch works as a magistrate outside of his responsibilities with the DFB.

According to German media the DFB’s general secretary Friedric Curtius has taken the incident to the organization’s ethical committee.

Fritz Keller, the president of the German football federation (DFB), poses for a photo as he attends the DFB’s annual congress in Frankfurt, Germany, September 27, 2019. (Daniel Roland/AFP)
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