Soccer – Frankfurt am Main – Adidas donations: Public prosecutor’s office is investigating DFB – Sport
Frankfurt / Main (dpa) – 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. The authority confirmed this to the German press agency on Thursday. 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 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 consideration to the tax office” will be made. A newly introduced system for tax error prevention has “shown a possible source of error”, with which the DFB has sent a message to the responsible tax office. On Thursday it said in a statement, among other things: “No evidence of tax evasion. The search measures by the public prosecutor’s office at adidas seem incomprehensible, as the DFB voluntarily provided all significant tax documents.”
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.
At the end of October of this year, the public prosecutor’s office was the tax proceedings against the 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 is currently leading the DFB together with Peter Peters on an interim basis 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 as 1st Vice President.
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