Germany: Robert Huber steps down as head of American Football Federation of Germany

Following a quarter of a century at the helm of the American Football Federation of Germany (AFVD), Robert Huber has stepped down.

Huber had actually been elected until 2024 but apparently re-signed because of a recall motion submitted by nine state federations within the framework of the Federation Convention to oust the current board. Huber, along with four of his vice presidents decided to step down ahead of the action.

The new president of the German federation is Fuad Merdanovic.

Since 1997, Huber has run the AFVD, at times, according to some, with an iron hand. Still, as the AFVD states, his tenure was characterized by steady membership growth in the clubs, especially from the turn of the millennium, which saw the football and cheerleading federations experience an unprecedented rise in membership in the two decades before the corona crisis. Membership numbers increased almost fourfold rising from 20,000 to more than 70,000.

He was an early and leading proponent of the Canadian Football League’s CFL 2.0 initiative which saw Global players enter the world’s second leading football league for the first time with German defensive lineman Thiadric Hansen at the forefront.

However, as head of one of the leading American football nations in the world, Huber’s presidency was not without its controversy. He was instrumental in the division of the International Federation of American Football in 2015 into two factions, a situation that was not resolved for almost three years. During the 2015 Congress, a group of nations, including Germany, walked out of the meeting and held their own Congress. From then until late 2017, Huber was a key player in the breakaway “IFAF Paris” faction with the original IFAF, “IFAF New York” faction in clear opposition. Countries were torn between the two groups and international tournaments were difficult to organize. In 2017, the International Court of Arbitration, CAS, ruled in favor of IFAF New York, thus ultimately ending the action of this group of nations and starting the reunification of IFAF.

As a result of the situation, Germany was isolated and banned from participating in IFAF competitions and only reinstated this year.

The formation of the European League of Football has also had an impact according to Huber will continue to serve as president of the Hessen state federation.

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