Email
Password
Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageFIFA plunges into new corruption scandal

By AFP     Oct 17, 2015 in Sports

Already reeling from the accusations surrounding the attribution of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup competitions, FIFA has been plunged into a new scandal relating to the 2006 edition.

Although vehemently denied by the German Football Federation (DFB), corruption claims made by Spiegel weekly newspaper on Friday would have felt like yet another body blow to world football's governing body.

On top of the Swiss investigation into the attribution of the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 tournament to Qatar, and the surrounding bribery scandal that has seen 14 people arrested by American and Swiss authorities, now Spiegel have claimed that votes for the 2006 edition played in Germany were bought.

It's another mess that FIFA can ill afford with its president Sepp Blatter having already been suspended for 90 days due to suspicions a two million Swiss franc ($2 million, 1.8 million euros) payment he made to UEFA counterpart Michel Platini was not above board.

The German Football Federation vehemently denies corruption claims made by Spiegel weekly newspaper ...
The German Football Federation vehemently denies corruption claims made by Spiegel weekly newspaper that votes for the 2006 World Cup in Germany were bought
Wolfgang Kumm, POOL/AFP/File

Platini has also been suspended for the same period by FIFA's independent ethics committee, as well as the organisation's secretary general Jerome Valcke.

Seven former FIFA officials were arrested by Swiss authorities in May as the United States attempts to have them extradited to face charges of accepting bribes.

Spiegel claimed on Friday that the DFB had borrowed 10.3 million Swiss francs in 2000 from the now-deceased former CEO of German sportswear giant Adidas, Robert Louis-Dreyfus in order to buy the votes of four Asian members of FIFA's 24-strong executive committee.

Germany won the bid to stage the 2006 World Cup ahead of South Africa by 12 votes to 11, with one abstention.

Spiegel claimed the DFB then transferred 6.7 million euros (the equivalent exchange rate for the borrowed Swiss francs at the time) to a FIFA account in 2005 to reimburse Louis-Dreyfus.

The DFB preempted Spiegel's claims by issuing its own statement on Friday admitting they had made that last payment to FIFA, but denying it had any connection to the 2006 World Cup.

On Saturday, DFB president Wolfgang Niersbach categorically denied any illegal activity by the Germans.

On February 1  2006  Franz Beckenbauer (R) and Wolfgang Niersbach during an event in Madrid to prese...
On February 1, 2006, Franz Beckenbauer (R) and Wolfgang Niersbach during an event in Madrid to present the FIFA World Cup 2006 that took place in Germany
Pierre-Philippe Marcou, AFP/File

"There was no slush fund," he insisted. "The World Cup was not bought."

Niersbach added that the internal investigation had not been completed but said: "I can definitively exclude that this payment was linked to the World Cup."

German media have jumped on the story, however, with popular daily Bild running the title: "Was the 2006 World Cup bought?".

But for FIFA, it is yet another blow to the already waning confidence in an organisation that runs the world's most popular sport.

The quarter-final World Cup match between Germany and Argentina at Berlin's Olympic Stadium  30...
The quarter-final World Cup match between Germany and Argentina at Berlin's Olympic Stadium, 30 June 2006
Roberto Schmidt, AFP/File

The 2010 World Cup has not been spared suspicion due to a $10 million payment made by South Africa to then FIFA vice-president Jack Warner, who is currently fighting extradition from his Trinidad and Tobago homeland to the US to answer corruption charges.

Both FIFA and South Africa deny any wrongdoing.

American authorities are also examining previous World Cup events after another former FIFA official, Chuck Blazer -- who, like Warner, has been banned for life from football-related activities -- turned whistle-blower and admitted to accepting bribes from Morocco and South Africa over the bidding process for the 1998 World Cup, eventually won by France.

The succession of scandals prompted FIFA in June to decide to suspend the nomination process for the 2026 World Cup.

More about fbl, Fifa, Ger, Corruption, wc
More news from
Sports Video
Latest News
Top News