Police raid DFB over 2006 bribery allegations

Police have raided the offices of the German Football Federation (DFB) in connection with a €6.7 million payment to Fifa allegedly used to buy votes for the 2006 World Cup.

Police raid DFB over 2006 bribery allegations
The German Football Federation offices in Frankfurt. Photo: DPA

“There were raids at the DFB headquarters as well as at homes of three accused – the DFB president, former DFB president and former general secretary,” said a spokeswoman for prosecutors, without naming names.

The three are understood to be current DFB chief Wolfgang Niersbach, his predecessor Theo Zwanziger and ex-general secretary Horst Schmidt.

Investigators seized hard drives, computers and files, Bild reported.

Niersbach, Zwanziger and Schmidt all belonged to the organizing committee for the 2006 World Cup (WMOK) which was managed by legendary player and manager Franz Beckenbauer.

“There is a suspicion of tax evasion in a particularly serious case. It has to do with the €6.7 million,” the spokeswoman said, adding that around 50 officers participated in the raids.

The background to the search is the accusation that the WMOK had a secret account for bribing Fifa officials in order to secure the 2006 World Cup.

Investigators are concentrating on contradictions in official accounts over a €6.7 million payment to Fifa which was made in 2005.

Niersbach has said that the payment was above-board and had been a condition to secure a much larger Fifa grant for Germany.

But Zwanziger told Spiegel in response that “it was clear there was a slush fund in the German World Cup bidding process”.

FIFA also rejected Niersbach's story almost immediately.

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