German FA launches action against Beckenbauer

German football chiefs on Friday launched a lawsuit involving Franz Beckenbauer, world governing body FIFA, two former German federation (DFB) presidents as well as the former head of adidas as part of the 2006 World Cup scandal.

German FA launches action against Beckenbauer
Beckenbauer (L) with suspended FIFA president, Sepp Blatter. Photo: DPA

“The DFB has taken the measure to avoid a statute of limitations” that could prevent a future claim for compensation from the federation, they said in a statement released to sports news agency SID, an affiliate of AFP.

As a result, the DFB reserved the right to reclaim the mysterious €6.7 million (S$10.5 million) payment made to FIFA which is at the heart of corruption allegations dogging the bidding process for the 2006 World Cup.

German football has been engulfed by claims that the payment was used to purchase the votes of four members of FIFA's executive committee in 2000 – days before Germany narrowly won the right to host the 2006 tournament.

However, Beckenbauer, like the former chief of Germany's football association Wolfgang Niersbach, has insisted that no bribery was involved and that the sum had to be paid to FIFA in order to obtain a bigger grant from world football's governing body.

Beckenbauer was in charge of the organising committee for the tournament.

Der Spiegel newspaper had alleged that the 2006 World Cup bidding committee accepted a €6.7 million loan from ex-adidas chief Robert Louis-Dreyfus, who died in 2009, and that the loan was used to buy the votes of four Asian members of FIFA's 24-strong executive committee.


You can’t always get what you want: police raid Hamburg officials over Rolling Stones gig

On Wednesday morning police in north Hamburg raided district offices and the premises of an events company, due to 100 free tickets for a Rolling Stones gig.

You can’t always get what you want: police raid Hamburg officials over Rolling Stones gig
The Rolling Stones in concert in Munich. Photo: DPA

Some 82,000 people turned up for a Rolling Stones gig in Hamburg in September. Among the delighted fans of the aged rockers were 100 state officials from the district of Hamburg north.

Die Welt reports that the district authorized the Rolling Stones gig and then received 100 gratis tickets with a value of €10,000 from the events company FKP Scorpio.

Tom Oelrichs, the deputy head of the district office, confirmed to Spiegel that they had received the tickets, saying that this has been “standard practice for years in the events industry.”

Prosecutors were tipped off to the case by an anonymous source and suspect that the district broke the law by accepting the complementary tickets.

There are clear rules that prohibit public servants from accepting any gifts in Germany, Die Welt explains. Beyond pens and paper they are not allowed to take any freebies.

The regulations state that the acceptance of gifts “raises the suspicion that public servants are for sale.”

Breach of this law can result in the termination of a contract, or in serious cases a prison sentence.