Illegal Adidas donations ?: DFB again suspended tax investigations

Illegal Adidas donations?
DFB again suspended tax investigations

The German Football Association does not come to rest. In addition to the fight for the office of the future president and the violent allegations against the current interim boss Rainer Koch, the public prosecutor’s office is now on the mat again. It is – once again – about possible tax evasion.

The Frankfurt public prosecutor’s office is again investigating the German Football Association (DFB) on charges of tax evasion and has taken documents from Adidas headquarters. According to reports in the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” and the “Bild”, the issue is the taxation of benefits in kind by the long-term DFB sponsor between 2015 and 2020. The investigators visited the Adidas headquarters in Herzogenaurach on Wednesday. “There was no search, the documents were given out voluntarily,” said Frankfurt Public Prosecutor Nadja Niesen. She did not provide details on the procedure.

“We can confirm that Adidas is fully cooperating with the responsible authorities in the context of tax proceedings that are not pending against Adidas itself but against a third party,” said the sporting goods manufacturer on request. “Search measures at adidas did not take place due to the commitment to fully support the investigation.”

The allegations related to benefits in kind from Adidas first became known in January. At the time, the DFB confirmed that as a precaution “after informing the Presidium, a late notification on the basis of a maximum assessment to the tax office” had been made. A newly introduced system for tax error prevention “showed a possible source of error”, whereupon the DFB sent a message to the responsible tax office.

DFB already in focus several times

In October 2020, in another case, the business premises of the DFB in Frankfurt’s Otto-Fleck-Schneise as well as the private apartments of several officials were searched by tax investigators. It was about the taxation of income from perimeter advertising at home games of the national team in 2014 and 2015. The DFB escaped taxation of around 4.7 million euros, the investigators said at the time.

At the end of October this year, the public prosecutor closed the tax proceedings against DFB interim boss Rainer Koch. The President of the Bavarian Football Association is also a member of the UEFA executive. A few months ago, the proceedings against the former top DFB officials Reinhard Rauball and Helmut Sandrock had been discontinued. A total of six officials were accused of involvement in tax evasion in particularly serious cases.

Koch currently leads the DFB on an interim basis with Peter Peters after Fritz Keller resigned in May. A new president is to be elected at the Bundestag on March 11, 2022 in Frankfurt / Main. Koch then no longer wants to run for 1st Vice President.

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