FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) – The German Football Federation's former general secretary Wolfgang Niersbach was elected president on Friday.
Niersbach was the only candidate as Theo Zwanziger's successor and was voted in unanimously by 257 delegates at the DFB's special assembly.
''I have great respect for this office but I'm looking forward to this great job at the same time,'' Niersbach said. ''Many great people before me have made the DFB what it is today. To be able to do something for football is a great gift for me.''
Niersbach, a former football journalist, becomes the DFB's 11th president. His joined the federation in 1988, one year after taking charge of the media for the organization committee of the 1988 European Championship, held in Germany.
He was vice president of the organization committee for the 2006 World Cup in Germany, becoming DFB general secretary the following year.
Niersbach promised to continue the DFB's work against all forms of racism, discrimination, corruption and violence.
''The national team is the best example for us all of how the professional and amateur levels can complement and benefit from each other,'' he said. ''And it shows us all if you do your best, how natural integration and tolerant coexistence can be. I hope that this example is a role model for the entire game of football.''
Helmut Sandrock was unanimously voted in to be his successor as general secretary.
Zwanziger announced in December his intention to quit. He originally planned to step down one year before his term ended in October 2013, but came under pressure to complete the handover before Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine.
''It was an unforgettable time, but I was always working around projects and now is the right time to go,'' said Zwanziger, who joined the DFB in 1992.
Zwanziger was joint president with Gerhard Mayer-Vorfelder from 2004-06 before assuming the position on his own. He joined FIFA's executive committee last year.
Germany coach Joachim Loew was among the guests due to attend a special assembly to mark the appointment, as were former players Uwe Seeler, Franz Beckenbauer, Lothar Matthaeus, Rudi Voeller, Guenter Netzer, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and 1954 World Cup winners Horst Eckel and Hans Schaefer.