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By ESPN Staff

Spinner elected Cologne president

Werner Spinner has been elected as the new president of Cologne, fending off the challenge of rival and former Cologne player Karl-Heinz Thielen.

Spinner replaces Wolfgang Overath, who stepped down last November, although he has only been given a one-year mandate after receiving 91.4% of the vote at an extraordinary general meeting last night.

Club chairman Claus Horstmann welcomed the election, which will see Harald Schumacher and Markus Ritterbach act as vice-presidents.

"I am very grateful for this vote as it is a big chance for FC Cologne,'' he said.

Coach Frank Schafer also took to the podium to much applause from nearly 4,000 members as he vowed to do all he can to save the club from relegation.

Cologne are four points adrift of safety with two games of the season remaining, but Schafer is not giving up.

"I don't want to make any promises here as that would not be serious, but I do believe we will stay up,'' he is quoted as saying by his club's website.

"I had the feeling that Stuttgart came up against a brick wall on Saturday, and this wall was FC Cologne. This wall is very strong because it is united.''

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