Beckenbauer furious over Munich Olympics snub

German football legend Franz Beckenbauer has accused European members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) of voting against Munich 2018 Winter Olympics bid in order to further their own interests.

Beckenbauer furious over Munich Olympics snub
Photo: DPA

Both European candidates failed when South Korea city Pyeongchang was awarded the 2018 Games in Wednesday’s vote.

The IOC made a clear decision as delegates in Durban, South Africa, awarded the games to Pyeongchang by 63 votes, compared to the 25 given to Germany’s Munich and just seven to France’s Annecy.

Beckenbauer, who captained Germany to the 1974 World Cup title and coached the team which won Italy 1990, was in Durban to support Munich’s bid, but was furious by the IOC’s decision.

According to Beckenbauer, the majority of the 42 Europeans sitting on the IOC voted against the European candidates to support a future candidacy in their own nations.

Traditionally, the IOC never awards consecutive games to the same continent and Beckenbauer accuses some European delegates of protecting their own interests for future bids.

“It’s absolutely scandalous that Europeans do not help other Europeans for completely selfish reasons,” he said. “Forty-two voting Europeans are sitting on the IOC, but only 25 gave their vote to Munich.”

He said Pyeongchang won the first ballot with 63 votes, meaning a majority of Europeans voted against the European candidates.

“Many prefer to think of a future candidacy of their own country and strive not to damage their chances,” Beckenbauer fumed. “They would have rather raised their hand for Korea than for Munich or Annecy. It’s all about self-interest, I think that’s terrible.”


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Four injured as WWII bomb explodes near Munich train station

Four people were injured, one of them seriously, when a World War II bomb exploded at a building site near Munich's main train station on Wednesday, emergency services said.

Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich.
Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Privat

Construction workers had been drilling into the ground when the bomb exploded, a spokesman for the fire department said in a statement.

The blast was heard several kilometres away and scattered debris hundreds of metres, according to local media reports.

Images showed a plume of smoke rising directly next to the train tracks.

Bavaria interior minister Joachim Herrmann told Bild that the whole area was being searched.

Deutsche Bahn suspended its services on the affected lines in the afternoon.

Although trains started up again from 3pm, the rail operator said there would still be delays and cancellations to long-distance and local travel in the Munich area until evening. 

According to the fire service, the explosion happened near a bridge that must be passed by all trains travelling to or from the station.

The exact cause of the explosion is unclear, police said. So far, there are no indications of a criminal act.

WWII bombs are common in Germany

Some 75 years after the war, Germany remains littered with unexploded ordnance, often uncovered during construction work.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about WWII bomb disposals in Germany

However, most bombs are defused by experts before they explode.

Last year, seven World War II bombs were found on the future location of Tesla’s first European factory, just outside Berlin.

Sizeable bombs were also defused in Cologne and Dortmund last year.

In 2017, the discovery of a 1.4-tonne bomb in Frankfurt prompted the evacuation of 65,000 people — the largest such operation since the end of the war in Europe in 1945.