• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Kaiser pleads innocence in World Cup bribery scandal

Kaiser pleads innocence in World Cup bribery scandal

AFP · 7 Mar 2016, 08:21

Published: 07 Mar 2016 08:21 GMT+01:00

Beckenbauer, who captained and coached Germany to the 1974 and 1990 World Cup titles respectively, was head of the organising committee for the 2006 finals, but insists his former lawyer Robert Schwan, who died in 2002, ran his finances.

"I had nothing to do with it," Beckenbauer told German daily Bild on Sunday when asked about a suspect money trail allegedly linked to Germany winning the right to host the 2006 finals, which the country fondly remembers as its "summer fairytale".

"Robert handled everything for me -- from changing the light bulbs to important contracts," said Beckenbauer, 70.

On Friday, an independent inquiry commissioned by the German Football Association (DFB) said it could not rule out that Germany bought votes to secure the 2006 World Cup.

Beckenbauer has repeatedly denied both that any votes were bought and that he is guilty of any wrongdoing.

German football has been roiled by allegations, first levelled by magazine Spiegel last October, that the DFB used a slush fund to buy votes to secure the tournament.

At the centre of the inquiry by law firm Freshfields is a mysterious payment of €6.7 million.

Media reports have claimed the money was to buy the votes of four Asian members of FIFA's 24-strong executive committee. Germany in 2000 won the bid to stage the 2006 World Cup, beating South Africa by 12 votes to 11, with one abstention.

'Many questions'

The German inquiry outlined a money trail linking the Beckenbauer-Schwan account, former Adidas chief Robert Louis-Dreyfus and Qatar, whose Mohammed bin Hammam has since been banned from football for life over corruption.

"I don't know what was done with the money in Qatar," said Beckenbauer, who added that he knew nothing of the transaction. "We did not buy any votes. Definitely not."

Beckenbauer again insisted the money was used to secure a subsidy from FIFA to help pay for the 2006 World Cup.

"Otherwise we would have not had a World Cup in Germany," he said.

"Imagine if we hadn't got the World Cup -- what a disgrace that would have been for Germany."

Beckenbauer denied reports the DFB has tried to reclaim the 6.7 million euros from him, telling the newspaper: "I don't know anything about that."

In football-mad Germany, Beckenbauer is regarded as an idol, but the scandal has damaged his image, something which clearly irks him.

"I am not going to allow my life's work to be ruined," he insisted.

Story continues below…

"I was a world champion as a player and coach. I helped bring the World Cup to Germany, which was a great success. It remains 'the summer fairytale'."

"In hindsight, I might have made mistakes. Hindsight is easier than foresight."

Beckenbauer's name appears 564 times in the 361-page Freshfields report, but the German says he has not read it.

FIFA has welcomed the report but said "many questions still remain to be answered".

Beckenbauer was warned and fined by FIFA last month for his failure to cooperate with a separate investigation into the award of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

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

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Dresden 'most woman-friendly’ city in Germany
Photo: DPA.

Sorry Berlin, you're not the most progressive city for women, according to a new report.

The future belongs to these 10 German regions
This east German city won the 'most improved' category. Photo: DPA

A new study shows that one city above all will dominate the future of Germany, but if you're canny you might still want to think about moving to Leipzig or Erfurt.

Fugitive ex-terrorists 'on huge crime spree' in north Germany
(L-r): ex-RAF members Volker Staub, Daniela Klette, and Burkhard Garweg. Photo: BKA

In their struggle against capitalism they once murdered businessmen and politicians. Now three ex-terrorists have taken to robbing supermarkets - and rather successfully, too.

Scooter singer finally reveals how much the fish cost
H.P. Baxxter. Photo: DPA

It is the question Germans have wanted to know the answer to for almost two decades - and now they have the answer, thanks to a US talkshow host.

'I'm definitely not a paedophile': disgraced MP
Former MP Sebastian Edathy is in hiding after a child pornography scandal destroyed his career. Photo: DPA

Former MP Sebastian Edathy quit his job and left Germany after videos of naked children were found on his computer.

Weekend promises storms, humidity - and a bit of sun
A storm in Cuxhaven last weekend. Photo: DPA

The forecast for the coming days isn’t the pristine blue skies many of us are longing for. But, in among the storms, the sun will still peek out.

Prosecutors take aim at unedited Hitler book
An original edition of 'Mein Kampf' featuring a photo of Hitler on an inside cover. Photo: DPA

German prosecutors said on Thursday they were investigating whether to bring charges against a publisher who has promised to print a version of Adolf Hitler's anti-Semitic manifesto "Mein Kampf" without annotations.

VW bets on battery factory for electric car dominance
A VW logo is seen in front of a plugged-in electric car. Photo: DPA

Scandal-hit car giant Volkswagen is set to sink huge sums into building a factory for batteries to power its future electric cars, German media reported on Friday.

Raging ticket controller seizes Chinese traveler's passport
File photo of a plainclothes ticket controller. Photo: DPA.

Germany's national rail operator is in hot water after a ticket controller reacted aggressively to a newly arrived Chinese traveler who made one of the most basic transit mistakes: forgetting to stamp her ticket.

Berlin politician crusades for health of skateboarding dog
File photo: DPA

Can a canine enjoy skateboarding? That's the question Berlin politicians are struggling to address in a row over a dog on four wheels.

Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
Society
Pegida enraged by black children on chocolate bars
Health
New father's tragic herpes warning touches 1000s online
National
Monsanto takeover would be 'diabolical': environmentalists
Lifestyle
10 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
Politics
MP recites explicit Erdogan bestiality poem on live TV
National
China beats Germany in readiness to help refugees
Hamburg
Headless Lübeck corpse turns out to be discarded sex doll
National
Pensioner claims to have found hidden Nazi nukes
Business & Money
Here's why Munich is worth 20 times more than Berlin
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that will stay with you forever
Technology
Church plans to connect with faithful at Wi-Fi 'Godspots'
Technology
Online hate speech can cost users thousands of Euros
Society
Bavarians in rush for non-lethal weapons licenses
Sport
Here's Germany's Mannschaft for Euro 2016
Culture
The Syrian pianist playing his way into Germans' hearts
The parrot who flew fast enough to trigger a speed camera
Technology
New law could let free Wi-Fi bloom across Germany
Politics
Berlin's plans to beef up the German army
Sport
Lufthansa's Euro 2016 ad takes aim at England
National
Supermarkets must pay massive fine for fixing beer prices
National
4/20: Five things to know about weed in Germany
Berlin
Police break up hipster swarm at vegan restaurant opening
7,846
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd