At yesterday’s General Assembly of DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga, Peter Peters, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Christian Seifert were elected as “DFL Ehrenangehörige” (Honorary Members). A proposal to this effect by the DFL Executive Committee was approved by the representatives of the 36 clubs of the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 by acclamation. Dr. Franz Böhmert, Wilfried Straub and Gerhard Mayer-Vorfelder, who have since died, and Franz Beckenbauer, Wolfgang Holzhäuser, Harald Strutz, and Helmut Hack had previously been elected as “DFL Ehrenangehörige” (Honorary Members). With this title, the DFL recognises individuals’ outstanding achievements across German professional football.
Having belonged to the DFL Executive Committee and the DFL Supervisory Board for 18 years between 2004 and 2022, Peter Peters (60) holds the record among all previous members of DFL governing bodies. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (62) had an exceptional playing career, especially at FC Bayern München with two Bundesliga Championships and in the German national team, winning the 1980 European Championship and reaching two World Cup finals (1982, 1986). He continued this run of success in his second career – including as CEO of FC Bayern München from 2002 bis 2021. Until his departure at the end of last year, Christian Seifert (53) presided over a successful 17 years at the DFL as CEO and mostly recently also as speaker of the DFL Executive Committee.
“The DFL’s rise – from league administrator to an institution respected beyond the world of football – is associated not least with your name,” said DFL Honorary President Dr. Reinhard Rauball in his laudatory speech for Peter Peters, his colleague for years at the DFL. “While others often focused on the headlines, you knew all the details of the situation. Or to put it another way, you were never to be found lounging on the sun deck, but always in the engine room with your sleeves rolled up.”
Herbert Hainer, President of FC Bayern München e.V. and Supervisory Board Chairman of FC Bayern München AG, had the following to say about Karl-Heinz Rummenigge in his laudatory speech: “What has always impressed me about him is his enormous desire to succeed, as well as his willingness and openness to never stop learning new things. When he sets out to do something, he does it. He has therefore always been a perfect representative of the DFL and of German football.” Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, who served on the League Board from 2004-2010, is “highly esteemed throughout the world of football,” as Hainer pointed out. “You are and will remain an active advisor to us all, an extraordinarily knowledgeable fan and a tremendous supporter of football – always with style. This mix makes you one of the most important people in German football.”
In his laudatory speech for “thinker and doer” Christian Seifert, the historian and publicist Prof. Dr. Michael Wolffsohn not only pointed to the development of the DFL Group, but also emphasised the “master stroke” that allowed the Bundesliga to become the first top football league to resume match operations after an enforced 66-day break during the coronavirus pandemic, setting an example for other sports around the world. Professor Wolffsohn continued: “I know the exceptional strategist Christian Seifert as a person of courage, heart, intellect, loyalty, values and a sublime sense of humour.”
All “DFL Ehrenangehörige” (Honorary Members)
Franz Beckenbauer, Dr. Franz Böhmert, Helmut Hack, Wolfgang Holzhäuser, Gerhard Mayer-Vorfelder, Peter Peters, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Christian Seifert, Wilfried Straub, Harald Strutz