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German FA Congress

DFB honours Beckenbauer and FCB

The 41st German FA (DFB) Congress opened in Nuremberg on Thursday evening with a number of awards and honours, including two accolades for Munich. Franz Beckenbauer was named honorary member for life in recognition of his services to football in Germany, and FC Bayern were recognised for last season’s historic treble.

“[DFB president] Wolfgang Niersbach told me I would be made an honorary member. I asked him: why? He said: it’ll bring down the average age,” Beckenbauer quipped in his typically dry acceptance speech. “In the past I had to fight for honours and trophies, but once you reach a certain age you just do nothing and they come.”

Niersbach paid tribute to Beckenbauer’s significance in the story of German football: “We already made him honorary captain for life in recognition of his service on the field of play. The honorary membership is a tribute to everything he has achieved for German football following his playing and coaching career. Without him, the summer fairytale [the 2006 World Cup] wouldn’t have been possible.“

Rummenigge: Bundesliga is exemplary

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge accepted the award for FC Bayern. “No team has ever managed to retain the Champions League. I don’t know if we can do it, but we’ll try,” said the FCB chairman, praising the state of German football: “In many nations, the associations and clubs have a poor relationship. In Germany, we’ve succeeded in travelling down the same path for the good of the game. Everyone benefits, the clubs and the national team. Our league is something of a role model.“

The delegates from the pro and amateur game were joined by a number of VIP figures at Nuremberg Convention Center, including newly-elected IOC president Dr Thomas Bach, UEFA President Michel Platini and Germany coach Joachim Löw. They witnessed a wide-ranging award ceremony, recognising a number of long-serving association members including outgoing treasurer Horst R. Schmidt, legal officer Götz Eilers and Niederrhein association president Walter Hützen. Birgit Prinz was named honorary captain for life.

On Friday, the Congress turns to regular business. The main item on the agenda is the election of the DFB president. Niersbach Is standing for the office again and his re-election is regarded as a formality.