Fifa questions DFB’s World Cup bribery story

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.

Fifa questions DFB's World Cup bribery story
Wolfgang Niersbach. Photo: DPA

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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British football teams allowed to skip Germany’s quarantine for Euro 2020

Germany's government announced on Tuesday it will allow England, Scotland and Wales to enter the country without quarantine to play at Euro 2020 despite a recent rise in cases linked to the Delta variant of Covid-19 in Britain.

British football teams allowed to skip Germany's quarantine for Euro 2020
One of the venues for Euro 2020 is in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sven Hoppe

The three teams could potentially reach the quarter-final held in Munich on July 2nd.

If that were the case, they would be exempt from the rule that travellers from the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland must currently observe a 14-day isolation period due to the virus strain of concern – Delta – first identified in India.

“The people accredited for the European football Championship are exempt from the quarantine obligation, even after arriving from an area impacted by a variant” Berlin said in a statement.

“This exemption concerns all the people who have been accredited by the organising committee for the preparation, participation, the holding and the follow-up of international sporting events,” it added.

The exemption does not include fans, who will be obliged to follow German government self-isolation rules.

Germany declared the UK a ‘virus variant area of concern’ on May 23rd due to rising cases linked to the Delta variant in parts of the country. 

READ ALSO: Germany makes UK ‘virus variant area of concern’: How does it affect you?

This reclassification came just seven days after the UK was put back on Germany’s list at the lowest risk level, and barely a month after it was taken off all risk lists completely.

The ban was put in place despite the UK’s relatively low Covid rates as a precautionary measure.

A general ban on entry is in place for people coming from countries on the ‘virus variant’ list – such as India and Brazil – the highest of Germany’s risk categories. 

There are some exceptions for entering from these countries – for example German residents and citizens. However, anyone who does enter from Germany is required to submit a Covid-19 test before boarding the flight and must quarantine for 14 days on arrival, regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated or not.

READ ALSO: Germany’s new relaxed quarantine and testing rules after travel

Euro 2020 starts on Friday as Italy host Turkey in Rome with the Bavarian city hosting three group games as well as the last-eight match.

Around 14,000 fans will be allowed into the Allianz Arena for the fixtures.