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Germany’s DFB terminates cooperation with Infront!

The German FA (Deutscher Fußball-Bund – DFB), has announced the termination of all existing contracts with its marketing partner Infront Sports & Media. The decision was made by the DFB presidium during a video conference yesteday.

“The DFB, which had obtained evidence of possible damaging actions of Infront towards the DFB in May 2019, is now presented with the results of an investigation by the Berlin-based consulting firm Esecon,” the DFB announced in a press release. “This has resulted in various acts in recent years which, for the DFB, constitute clear irregularities in connection with the realisation and delivery of Infront’s contractual services, as well as unlawful influence on DFB representatives.”

In response, Switzerland-based Infront said: “The German Football Association (DFB) informed Infront today that it will end its very successful and lengthy partnership with Infront and terminate or discontinue all existing contracts. Infront contests the validity of this cancellation and insists on the full completion of the current contracts with the DFB. Infront has severe doubts about the methods and motives of the investigative agency Esecon, on whose interim report the DFB is basing this proposed cancellation.”

“The DFB said it based its decision on allegations of ‘potentially damaging activities’. The interim report of Esecon – which Infront has not been given access to – apparently accuses Infront of gaining undue benefits from improper gifts to DFB employees.”

“Infront firmly rejects these allegations of “potentially damaging activities” and will do everything it can to combat them. There is no reason for the intended termination of the contract and Infront will do everything to enforce its rights under the existing contracts with the DFB. Infront has always met its contractual obligations in full and will fulfil existing obligations, for example for the DFB Cup.”

“The extensive and exhaustive investigation commissioned by Infront with external lawyers on this matter concluded that Esecon’s allegations which go beyond the already known and addressed issues are either demonstrably incorrect or not verifiable and thus are ultimately invalid. Esecon was given these results together with mitigating arguments but these do not appear to have been reflected in the interim report sent to the DFB.”

“Infront also has considerable doubts about the methods and motivation of this investigative agency. This includes the reversal of the burden of proof and the use of dubious sources of information, including demonstrably falsified documents. In fact, all there is are allegations for which Esecon has so far not provided any reliable evidence. We have considerable doubts about the seriousness of the investigation commissioned by the DFB, which has led to a damaging prejudgment of Infront, especially in light of all the forwarding of one-sided, preliminary investigation results to the media and the resulting one-sided reporting referencing, among other things, proven forged documents.”

“For Infront, it is unacceptable that the decades-long, successful and transparent business activities for the DFB have been put in a negative, at times even criminal, light by Esecon’s unsubstantiated allegations and often abstruse suspicions.”

“Infront will now protect its interests with all the means at its disposal given that a mutual solution that Infront always proffered has failed. In particular, Infront insists on the mutual fulfilment of the contracts with the DFB. Overall, we look forward to any judicial assessment of the matter with composure and are very confident that the allegation of any ‘potentially damaging activities’ will prove to be unfounded.”

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