Soccer-German FA boss Keller offers to step down over Nazi comment

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - DFB Cup - Final Preview - Bayer Leverkusen v Bayern Munich - Olympiastadion, Berlin, Germany - July 3, 2020 President of the German football federation (DFB) Fritz Keller during a press conference ahead of the final REUTERS/Annegret Hilse /File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Football Association (DFB) chief Fritz Keller on Tuesday offered to step down after the end of a sports court hearing next week over a Nazi comment directed at a vice president, with several other top officials set to leave their posts.

Keller, who took over as President in September 2019 with a brief to reform an organisation plagued by scandal over irregular payments, faces a sports court judgement over the comment addressed to vice president Rainer Koch.

"President Fritz Keller in a decision he took himself has declared his principal readiness to step down from his position as president after the end of the process at the DFB sports court on Monday May 17," the DFB said in a statement.

Keller last month referred to Koch, a civil judge, as "Freisler", a reference to notorious Nazi judge Roland Freisler, a participant at the 1942 conference at which the Nazis laid out their "final solution" to exterminate the Jews.

He apologised but refused to resign after the DFB's state and regional federations withdrew their confidence in him and urged him to leave.

General Secretary Friedrich Curtius, with who Keller had fought a bitter battle over control within the DFB, will also be leaving.

The DFB is the world's biggest single sports federation with more than seven million registered members.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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