The Bundesliga scandal (der Bundesliga-Skandal) refers to the malicious, for-profit manipulation of games in the 1970–71 German football championship season.


The manipulation of games was revealed when the president of Kickers Offenbach, Horst-Gregorio Canellas, presented an audio-tape to DFB officials and a few journalists at his 50th birthday garden-party. In that tape, several players, including German internationals Bernd Patzke and Manfred Manglitz, could be heard offering to let themselves be bribed to help Offenbach avoid relegation.[1]

The chief prosecutor of the DFB, Hans Kindermann, found out that, amongst others, the 17 April 1971 game between FC Schalke and Arminia Bielefeld that ended 0–1, had been "sold" (or thrown) by Schalke's players and the board of directors. Afterwards, many of the Schalke players were banned for long periods, while several lifetime bans were imposed.

The players maintained their innocence, and even swore an oath to that, but the oath was eventually proven to be false. Schalke's rivals, especially from the Ruhr, still occasionally refer to Schalke as FC Meineid (German for "FC Perjury").

Fifty-two players, two managers and six club functionaries were punished. Also, Bielefeld and Offenbach had their license to participate in the Bundesliga revoked. Offenbach had been relegated due to their sporting performance anyway, despite the manipulated games, but Bielefeld played in the next Bundesliga season. Eventually, Bielefeld finished playing all 34 games of the 1971–72 season, but were punished by automatic relegation after that season, officially receiving zero points for each game independently of their actual record.

Manipulated games

*Strictly speaking, the game was not manipulated, but the Braunschweig players were promised, and given, for winning this game an additional bonus by a third party, which was illegal.

Punished participants



Club officials

See also


  1. ^ Ulrich Hesse-Lichtenberger (2003). Tor!: The story of German football. When Saturday Comes Books. ISBN 0-9540134-5-X.