Bernd Neuendorf is the new president of the German Football Association (DFB). The 60-year-old was elected to the head of the DFB by a majority vote at the 44th regular meeting of the DFB in Bonn. 193 of the 250 delegates who were eligible to vote lent their support to Neuendorf, who now becomes the 14th president in the history of the DFB. He succeeds Fritz Keller, who had vacated the position on May 17th, 2021. Neuendorf’s election was made based on a public recommendation by the conference of state and regional association presidents, which had promised him their unanimous support back on December 9th.
The position and role of the president have been changed somewhat by the DFB. In comparison with his predecessor, Neuendorf has greater scope to implement general guidelines. The president is therefore authorised to take part in meetings of all DFB committees and their subsidiaries. He can also cast an eye over documents related to the meetings and request further information. Should the DFB delegate tasks to other organisations within the DFB, the president will chair any general meetings that take place.
"We have to represent football in a way that people can believe in"
In his election speech Neuendorf first thanked Peter Peters, who had also run for the presidency at the recommendation of the Westphalia Football and Athletics Association (FLVW) and with the support of the German Football League (DFL). “His willingness to nominate himself for the position of president deserves respect. I felt that the election was run in good faith and for that I thank him.”
"My conviction is that football, both at grassroots and elite levels, only functions when we come together to consider what is best,” said Neuendorf to the gathered delegates. “We need to change the culture at the DFB and around football in general. We need more trusting cooperation without so much background noise. And above all, the DFB is a football association. Let's put football front and centre once more. A part of that is also that we take the opportunities presented to us by EURO 2024 and our application to host the Women’s World Cup in 2027. We will be keeping a particular eye on youth and children’s football. That is of utmost concern for me. Football also has a social responsibility, a duty toward our society. In the future we have to make it clear that we are taking that duty seriously again. We have to represent football in a way that people can believe in. And we are going to make the DFB younger, more modern and more accessible for women.”
Bernd Neuendorf was unanimously elected as president of the Middle Rhine Football Association (FVM) on June 29th, 2019. With that he also became a member of the DFB board as well as the vice-president of the West German Football Association (WDFV). His background is in journalism and politics. After a spell working as a volunteer for the news agency Reuters, he worked as a political correspondent for various newspapers in Bonn. After that he moved to Halle to work for the Mitteldeutschen Zeitung (Central German Newspaper) where he was head editor from 2001 to 2003. In 2003 he became speaker for the board of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) in Berlin, later becoming the party’s media representative for the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. From 2007 until October 2012 he was the head of the SPD in North Rhine-Westphalia. Following this, he became secretary of state for the ministry of families, children, youth, culture and sport in North Rhine-Westphalia. Neuendorf is a member of his youth club Grenzwacht Hürtgen, where he played on the left wing until a serious knee injury ended his time playing football.