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Fifa questions DFB's World Cup bribery story

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Fifa questions DFB's World Cup bribery story
Wolfgang Niersbach. Photo: DPA
14:30 CEST+02:00
World football organization Fifa said on Thursday that the version of events presented by the German Football Association (DFB) about a suspect €6.7 million payment it made to Fifa in 2005 was unlikely.

DFB president Wolfgang Niersbach told reporters on Thursday that the money was a form of security in order to receive €170 million in grants at a later date, reports the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

The money transfer had nothing to do with Germany being chosen to host the World Cup, he stated.

"We were awarded the World Cup with sincere methods, it wasn't bought – the summer fairytale [of 2006] is still a summer fairytale,“ he added.

But Niersbach's story "does not correspond in any way to the Fifa standard processes and guidelines," Fifa said in a statement.

It was not the case that "financial support for World Cup organizing committees should be coupled to any financial pre-payment from that organizing committee or its federation," the organization insisted.

Adidas boss allegedly corrupt

Spiegel magazine reported last week that the money was a payment for votes Germany had bought from four Fifa delegates to ensure it was awarded the 2006 World Cup.

Niersbach confirmed the fact that ex-Adidas boss Robert Louis Dreyfus had given the DFB the money, but explained that Dreyfus had stumped up the money due to the fact the German World Cup organizing committee did not have sufficient funds at the time.

Franz Beckenbauer had initially wanted to provide the money but was advised against it by his lawyer, said Niersbach.

The DFB boss apologized for the confusing and opaque way his organization had reacted since Spiegel reported that the money was connected to bribes.

"I've know since June about the events. Its my oversight that I didn't inform the other [DFB] executives sooner,“ he said.

But Spiegel has speculated that Niersbach knew about the transfer much earlier. It has obtained a memorandum on which Niersbach allegedly wrote "reimbursement for RLD.“ The magazine speculates that RLD stands for Robert Louis Dreyfus.

The DFB boss replied that he had "no recollection of that.“

Meanwhile, Beckenbauer remains under investigation over the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar.

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