• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3
World Cup 2006 bribery
Ex-DFB boss 'certain' of World Cup slush fund
Former DFB President Theo Zwanziger. Photo: DPA

Ex-DFB boss 'certain' of World Cup slush fund

AFP · 23 Oct 2015, 16:26

Published: 23 Oct 2015 15:01 GMT+02:00
Updated: 23 Oct 2015 16:26 GMT+02:00

"It is clear that there was a slush fund in the German World Cup bidding process," he told Spiegel magazine in an interview to be published Saturday.

"It is also clear that the current DFB president knew of this already in 2005, and not only a few weeks ago as he claimed," added Zwanziger, who headed the German Football Association from 2006 to 2012.

"The way I see it, Niersbach is lying," he claimed.

German football plunged into a crisis over claims in a Spiegel report last week that the 2006 World Cup bidding committee had accepted a 10.3 million Swiss francs (€6.7 million at that time) loan from former Adidas chief Robert Louis-Dreyfus.

Spiegel alleges that the loan was used to buy the votes of four Asian members of FIFA's 24-strong executive committee.

At the vote in July 2000 Germany saw off South Africa by 12 votes to 11 to win the right to hold the 2006 World Cup.

DFB President Wolfgang Niersbach. Photo: DPA

 

This week, FIFA also revealed that it had investigated Franz Beckenbauer, although it did not specify on what grounds.

Beckenbauer headed the bidding committee for the 2006 tournament, which is still nostalgically referred to in Germany as the "Sommermaerchen" or summer fairy tale.

At a hastily called press conference on Thursday, Niersbach insisted that there had not been anything shady over the 2002 payment.

The money was actually made upfront to FIFA in order to secure a €170 million subsidy from world football's governing body, he said.

"There was no slush fund, there was no vote buying," he said.

'Thorough investigation'

Niersbach claimed that in a meeting between Beckenbauer and FIFA chief Sepp Blatter, the German football legend was told the organisation could provide 250 million Swiss francs (then worth approximately €170 million) in subsidies.

He added however that in return "10 million francs must be transferred" to FIFA's finance commission.

Niersbach's claims were quickly refuted by FIFA.

"That the financial support of FIFA World Cup Organising Committees should be coupled to any kind of financial advance payment by the respective organising committee or the relevant football association in no way corresponds to FIFA's standard processes and regulations," said the governing body in a statement.

FIFA also denied receiving any payment worth €6.7 million from Louis-Dreyfus.

Zwanziger claimed that he now knew where the money was destined for.

Story continues below…

In the Spiegel interview, he said he was told last week by Horst R. Schmidt, then World Cup organising committee's vice president, that the disgraced former FIFA vice president Mohamed Bin Hammam was the recipient.

Hammam was in 2014 banned for life from football activities, after being found to have bought votes in an election against Blatter.

Meanwhile, the DFB's top management issued a statement saying that Niersbach would lead the organisation in pursuing "a comprehensive, thorough investigation of all allegations relating to the 2006 World Cup".

Bundesliga president Reinhard Rauball also said that for "the league and for me personally, it is crucial that everything is cleared up completely, regardless of who it involves."

"It is essential for German football the light is shed on the truth, even if it leads to painful discoveries," he said.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Babies and corpses turning up in record numbers
Photos: DPA

Germany is experiencing a mini baby boom - but a veritable "death boom" is more than balancing out the score sheet.

Monsanto still 'open' to deal with German chemical giant
An Indian Monsanto farmer seen at work in 'Sweet Corn' field at Monsanto Bangalore Centre. Photo: EPA.

Monsanto said on Wednesday it was still open to a potential merger with Bayer, or to another big deal, as it reported lower earnings due to a tough agricultural market.

Shock birthday party attack at campsite leaves one dead
A broken fence posts found at the campsite. Photo: DPA.

Violence erupted at a campsite birthday party in Lower Saxony leaving one dead, police reported on Wednesday.

Trabi totalled on Autobahn after skidding on snail slime
Photo: Paderborn police

A vintage East German "Trabi" car has come unstuck after its driver hit a snail trail on the Autobahn.

Munich 'to spend extra €2.2m' on Oktoberfest security
Oktoberfest in Munich, 2014. Photo: DPA.

After terror attacks in Paris, Brussels and most recently Istanbul, Munich could spend nearly €3 million more on security and other measures - but terrorism isn't the only concern: the biggest fear is overcrowding.

The Local List
Six ways to make this Munich summer one to remember
The Kocherlball in the English Garden. Photo: DPA

At a loss for what to do with the warm months in Munich this year? These six attractions have to go on your summer bucket list.

Brexit vote
Germans rally on Twitter to show love for UK
Photo: DPA

Twitter was swamped with tributes after Germany's largest liberal newspaper asked readers to show some love for Britain despite its vote to leave the EU.

German kidnaps Swiss child, raising online gaming fears
File photo: Rachel Johnson / Flickr Creative Commons.

A 12-year-old Swiss boy was allegedly abused by a German man he first met online.

'Hero' refugee hands in €150,000 he found in wardrobe
Muhannad and the secondhand wardrobe. Photo: Minden Police.

A refugee from Syria found a huge stash of money in a secondhand wardrobe he bought. But keeping it for himself would have been a betrayal of his religion, he said.

Istanbul airport bombing
Flights from Berlin to Istanbul cancelled after terror attack
Turkish police block the road after an suicide bomb attack at Atatürk Airport in Istanbul. Photo: EPA.

All flights from Berlin's Tegel airport to Istanbul have been cancelled after a suicide bomb attack killed at least 36 people in the city's major airport.

Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
US expats: Taxes are due June 15th
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
Features
6 reasons Germany's summer is unbeatable for thrill-seekers
National
The future belongs to these 10 German regions
7,924
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd