Former German Football Association (DFB) president Wolfgang Niersbach will appeal against a one-year ban by world soccer’s governing body FIFA, he said on Wednesday.
FIFA’s Ethics Committee banned Niersbach on Monday for failing to report potential misconduct surrounding the award of the 2006 soccer World Cup to Germany.
“After consulting my lawyers I will file an appeal, even just to be able to get a written explanation for this verdict,” Niersbach told Germany’s Bild newspaper.
“I can only repeat that this verdict is over the top and I owe it to myself to challenge it.”
Niersbach, who sat on the FIFA Council and is a member of the executive committee of European soccer’s governing body UEFA, resigned as DFB president in November after he was unable to explain a 6.7 million euro ($7.4 million) payment from the German World Cup organisers to FIFA.
A report in May from the investigatory chamber of FIFA’s ethics committee – an independent body – found Niersbach had violated its ethics code and recommended he be banned for two years from all football-related activity and fined.
The German, who has repeatedly denied all wrongdoing, said at the time he disagreed with the severity of the recommendations.
Niersbach is also under investigation by Frankfurt prosecutors for suspected tax evasion over the payment to FIFA.
A DFB-commissioned report revealed in March that while there was no evidence of Germany paying FIFA members in return for their votes, payments were made to at least one former FIFA official through a web of accounts involving several other firms or individuals, including Franz Beckenbauer.
Beckenbauer, a World Cup-winning player and coach who headed the 2006 World Cup bid, admitted making mistakes but denied any wrongdoing over the tournament in Germany. He is not suspected of tax evasion.
The World Cup affair, which has shocked soccer-mad Germany, was triggered by the payment from the DFB to FIFA, which the DFB said last year was the return of a loan via the ruling body from former Adidas chief Robert Louis-Dreyfus.