President of the German Football Association (DFB) Reinhard Grindel unexpectedly resigned on Tuesday after apologising for accepting an expensive watch from a Ukrainian colleague as a gift, saying he had not known its value.
Grindel, who took over the world's biggest sports federation by membership in 2016, had come under pressure over income he received from a DFB subsidiary and a watch he had been given by Ukrainian businessman and soccer administrator Grigory Surkis, Reuters said.
"Everyone who knows me knows that I am not greedy. The price of the watch was 6,000 euros. I did not know the brand or its value at the time," Grindel said in a brief statement to reporters.
"Mr Surkis had no commercial interests linked to the DFB. He never, before or after, asked me for any kind of support," Grindel said.
"At the time it was clear he would not campaign for another term on the UEFA Executive Committee to which he now no longer belongs."
"For me there was and is no conflict of interest. It was a matter of politeness to accept it."
Grindel said he had shown the watch to DFB associates at the time and had mentioned it to colleagues in Frankfurt. But he said it was a mistake not to have known the value of it earlier.
"I cannot explain why I did not take action for swift clarity. I am stunned by my mistake. I resign as DFB president. I apologise for my less-than-exemplary action of accepting the watch."
The DFB, which will host the Euro 2024 tournament and has more than 7 million registered members, said vice presidents Rainer Koch and Reinhard Rauball would be an interim solution until elections in September.