At the 1986 World Cup, team boss Franz Beckenbauer said he was running a “marijuana team,” but that wasn’t his only problem. In the German squad, factions were found that were not content with ordinary sporting competition: fights and tensions characterized the meeting of the parties from Hamburg, Bavaria and Cologne, and when Karl-Heinz Rummenigge warned the people of Cologne in a ARD interview that they should kindly “put on their little games”, delegation leader Egidius Braun called a crisis meeting, which Rummenigge recalled with pleasure years later: “Toni Schumacher, Franz, Egidius and I were sitting in the room. We talked and We talked, and at some point Toni stood up and suddenly looked me in the face, and I thought: now he’s going to hit me”.
However, Schumacher turned around, went to his room and reacted to the dumbbell workout. When he re-entered the room half an hour later, completely drenched in sweat, Braun delivered his verdict: Both fighters had to travel home immediately. Rummenigge and Schumacher did not accept that Beckenbauer: “Probably they cannot be saved completely – send our two most important players home!” Braun later admitted to those involved that this night alone in the service of German football probably cost him two years of his life. Born in Breinig, near Aachen, the legal and philosophical scholar Braun, affectionately known as “Pater Braun”, who operated as a potato wholesaler, was already an experienced football official at the time, but he was not always up to the temper. of this marijuana troop.
In Mexico, instead of Schumacher and Rummenigge, it was rebel reserve goalkeeper Uli Stein who was hit. From Rummenigge’s memoirs: “Dietmar Jakobs, Dieter Hoeneß and I went three times to Egidius because he wanted to send Uli home. We turned it off three times. But at some point Neuberger from Mexico City gave the order: enough is enough.” . Hermann Neuberger was then president of the DFB.
During his time as treasurer (1977 to 1992) and president of the DFB (1992 to 2001), Egidius Braun saw many stories to pass on to his children and grandchildren. Funny and explosive as in Mexico or the 1994 World Cup in the United States when he sent home the rebel Stefan Effenberg, disturbing and terrible as in 1998 in France when German hooligans almost beat the French policeman Daniel Nivel to death, and the DFB Out of dismay and embarrassed, boss Braun decided to kick the team out of the tournament. He was a politically minded person, but he was also an emotional person.
Federal President Johannes Rau commented: “Egidius Braun is not only respected, he is also loved, and that is rare with so-called civil servants.”
At the age of 97, Egidius Braun died on Wednesday night. Obituaries now record the accolades that were innumerable in his honor even during his lifetime. Former Chancellor Helmut Kohl, for example, recalled Braun’s 90th birthday as “a DFB president who was not on tour as ‘Mr President’ but as an enthusiastic footballer” and benefactor, Federal President Johannes Rau commented: ” Egidius Braun is not only respected, he is also loved, and that is rare with so-called officials.”
Braun’s current successor in the DFB, Bernd Neuendorf, a native of Düren, a compatriot from the Middle Rhine region and also associated with Alemannia Aachen, declared Wednesday a “sad day for all footballers in Germany and Europe”: Braun He was a special person who with the resources of football “only for those who need support and attention”.
Beyond sport and its events, Egidius Braun set standards through goal-oriented work: With his business experience, he helped turn the DFB into a commercial company; he played the important part of it in bringing the 2006 World Cup to Germany; He championed international relations and a wide range of social and charitable commitments with zeal and success, thereby significantly expanding the horizons of the DFB sports organization. He was characterized by determination, drive and perseverance, authority and a certain severity were not alien to him. He certainly knew how to assert himself, if not in every crisis meeting that football life brought him.