November 16, 2012 / 10:29 AM / 6 years ago

Tell-all-book by former DFB boss angers Bundesliga

BERLIN (Reuters) - A book by former Germany football association (DFB) president Theo Zwanziger that reveals details of his time in office and criticises his successor has triggered the ire of the Bundesliga.

Theo Zwanziger talks to the media after a committee meeting in Zurich July 17, 2012. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/Files

In the book released this week, Zwanziger hits out at current DFB President Wolfgang Niersbach for a German team visit to the Auschwitz death camp prior to Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine, saying there was a lack of commitment in the gesture.

The former DFB president, who resigned in March and is now a member of FIFA’s executive committee, also said in the book titled ‘The Zwanziger Years’ the DFB had a back-up plan for Germany’s coaching position prior to the 2006 World Cup.

Following a 4-1 friendly defeat to Italy before the tournament the DFB had plans to replace then coach Juergen Klinsmann with Matthias Sammer if necessary, even during the World Cup on home soil, Zwanziger said.

Klinsmann, the current U.S. coach, eventually led Germany to a third-place finish at the tournament.

Then World Cup chief Franz Beckenbauer, who Zwanziger claimed was in the know, has denied being aware of any such plan.

“We have just discussed this with the league board and do not appreciate that Theo Zwanziger revealed important internal information,” Reinhard Rauball, who heads the German Football League (DFL) and is president of Borussia Dortmund, told Die Welt newspaper on Friday.

“We have to ask the question whether this is appropriate for a former DFB president and a still active member of the FIFA executive committee.

“The league board believes it should be possible to have confidential talks without fearing that they will appear in a book.”

Zwanziger also attacked Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness in his book saying while he had done a lot of good for the game, he has used his fame to open up divides instead of bridging them.

He accused Hoeness, who is renowned for his vocal opinions, of criticising FIFA but not taking up his offer to join world soccer’s governing body.

Reporting by Karolos Grohmann. Editing by Patrick Johnston

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