Reinhard Grindel

The Outsider Tackling Germany's Soccer Scandals

Game on: Reinhard Grindel.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The German Football Association has been badly damaged by a corruption scandal related to its hosting of the 2006 World Cup.

  • Facts


    • Reinhard Grindel is a former lawmaker from Angela Merkel’S CDU party.
    • He took over from Wolfgang Niersbach, who resigned as DFB president amid the World Cup controversy in June.
    • The 54-year-old studied law and worked as a journalist before going into politics, but has a limited sports background.
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Reinhard Grindel gave up his seat in Germany’s lower house of parliament earlier this year after he became president of the nation’s governing body for soccer, the German Football Association (DFB).

Now the former soccer outsider wants to revolutionize the DFB. The group runs Germany’s top-tier professional soccer league, the Bundesliga, and in recent months has been plagued by a corruption-related scandal.

Earlier this summer, Mr. Grindel was busy in France as Germany’s world champion men’s soccer team competed in the Euro 2016 tournament, also known as the European Championship.

On July 7, Germany was playing against the host country in the tournament semifinals. The 54-year-old was staying with his fellow German functionaries in a four-star hotel in Marseille, a city with a population of 800,000. The harbor was filled to the last berth with yachts. Mr. Grindel looked out at the water and breathed in the warm, salty smell.

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