German Cup final will remain in Berlin, says DFB chief | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 18.04.2017
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German Cup final will remain in Berlin, says DFB chief

DFB President Reinhard Grindel has dismissed suggestions that the German Cup final be played abroad. The German FA boss said Berlin's Olympic Stadion is "Germany's version of Wembley."

The German Cup final will remain in Berlin and not be played abroad, the president of the German Football Federation (DFB), Reinhard Grindel, has said. His comments come in response to suggestions that German football's showpiece event could be moved overseas.

"Holding the German Cup final at a fixed venue, namely in Berlin, is a fantastic success story," Grindel wrote on Facebook. "It has become a brand in itself. Berlin's Olympic Stadium has become a German version of Wembley - a living legend."

Grindel's comments come after new Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted suggested that important matches such as the cup final, which has been played in Berlin since 1985, be played abroad in order to maximize profit.

Infografik chinesisches Interesse an Fußball ENG

German football is enjoying increasing popularity overseas

"Why not play a future cup final in Shanghai rather than Berlin?" Rorsted said in an interview with Germany's 'Süddeutsche Zeitung' newspaper, adding that regional ties are no longer of any importance to professional football clubs. "I see it as a chance and would be all for it."

The popularity of the Bundesliga abroad, particularly in the far east, is increasing, with the likes of Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and VfL Wolfsburg opening offices in China to capitalize on new support.

Adidas boss against 50+1

In the same interview, the Dane also stated his support for the abolition of German football's 50+1 ownership rule, which prevents any single investor or sponsor from ever obtaining a majority share in a football club and which opponents say is holding Bundesliga clubs back.

"[The abolition of 50+1] would enable greater investment in Bundesliga clubs and make the league more exciting by creating genuine competition," he said, highlighting England's Premier League as an example.

"Thanks to investors, there are always several English clubs who can win the title," he argued. "There are several attractive matches every week and everyone gets involved."

PK zum Fußball-Sicherheitskonzept der DFL (Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images)

German football league (DFL) boss Christian Seifert

German football league (DFL) boss Christian Seifert on the other hand believes that fan-friendly ticket prices and the knowledge that clubs can't just be sold to the highest bidder are what makes the Bundesliga special.

Nevertheless, he has called on clubs to have a "full and frank" discussion as to whether the 50+1 rule should be modified, saying: "It makes sense to regulate the situation. I'm not convinced that a completely free market is the answer to everything."

mf/mp(DPA/SID)

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