Bundesliga former referee Amerell found dead | News | DW | 12.12.2012
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Bundesliga former referee Amerell found dead

Former German football referee Manfred Amerell has been found dead, with the cause of death still unclear pending an autopsy. Amerell had made headlines for his alleged involvement in a sex scandal with another referee.

Amerell (pictured above) was found dead in his Munich apartment Tuesday, Munich prosecutor's office spokesman Peter Preuss confirmed.

The 65-year-old was accused of sexual offense in 2010 by a former Bundesliga referee. He resigned from his post at the German Football Association (DFB) shortly thereafter.

Cause of death unclear

Munich police commander Frank Hellwig stated at a press conference Wednesday that the cause of Amerell's death was not initially obvious, but said "there was no evidence of accident, suicide or foul play."

Hellwig added at Amerell's last known contact was a week ago, and his body was found in an "advanced state of decomposition" due to high temperatures in his closed-off apartment, which could delay autopsy results.

He is survived by his wife and two daughters.

Sex offense allegations

Former Bundesliga and current lower league referee Michael Kempter accused Amerell of sexual offenses in early 2010

ARCHIV - Referee Michael Kempter officiates a game between VfB Stuttgart and 1899 Hoffenheim in Stuttgart, (AP Photo/Thomas Kienzle)

Kempter made his comeback to refeering in the German fifth division this season

In later statements Kempter backed away from his previous claims that he had made it very clear to Amerell he was not interested in sexual contact. He instead said that he had perhaps not sufficiently expressed his unwillingness. Amerell has always denied the allegations of sexual misconduct.

"Since Febuary 1, 2010 I haven't lived, I just exist," said Amerell in April of this year, when looking back at his struggles with Kempter.

On that day, Amerell had a conversation with then-DFB President Theo Zwanziger and then-general secretary and current DFB President Wolfgang Niersbach about Kempter's allegations. Three days later he was released from his duties and stepped down from his post, with the DFB citing health reasons.

He sued Kempter following the allegations at a Regional High Court in Stuttgart. The court suggested a settlement of 150,000 euros ($195,000) payable to Amerell, and both parties agreed.

"My quality of life is virtually zero, and that is not going to change at all until I die," said Amerell in at the time.

Amerell was most recently in the news because of a legal dispute with the DFB. In April he'd said the association had violated his personal rights and he was suing for damages.

His lawyer, Jürgen Langer, had said Amerell felt defamed by the DFB because of the sex offense scandal.

Referee and club official

Amerell made his refereeing debut in 1984 in the German second division before moving to the top flight three years later.

In total Amerell officiated 66 games in the Bundesliga before concluding his career in 1994 by overseeing the German Cup Final between Werder Bremen and Rot-Weiss Essen. After his retirement from refereeing, Amerell moved to a functionary position within the DFB.

Prior to serving as a referee, Amerell was managing director at 1860 Munich, Augsburg and Karlsruhe.

dr/msh (SID, dpa)