A huge scandal is unfolding for German football with the country’s federation being accused of buying votes for the 2006 World Cup by one of their own leading media outlets, SPIEGEL.
They report that the bidding team for that tournament set up a slush fund for FIFA which was stuffed in secret by then-Adidas CEO Robert Louis-Dreyfus with 10.3 million Swiss francs, the equivalent of 13 million Deutsche marks.
This money was allegedly used to buy four votes from Asian representatives.
Leading officials like Franz Beckenbauer, former player, manager and head of the bidding committee, and Wolfgang Niersbach, the current head of the German Football Federation (DFB), were allegedly aware of the bribery scheme.
Adidas having an extremely close relationship with the German national team, Louis-Dreyfus lent the money to Germany before they were awarded the tournament on July 6, 2000.
But no record of this loan appeared in the bidding committee’s budget before the tournament was secured or in the organizing committee’s budget after the tournament was secured.
When Louis-Dreyfus wanted the loan back Germany used FIFA to give him the €6.7 million in an inconspicuous way, transferring money that was officially given for an opening gala.
The DFB released a statement this morning in response to the story. You can read it below.
In light of recent investigation into world football’s governing body FIFA, and due to recurrent media coverage, the German Football Association (DFB) have launched an internal investigation into the awarding of the 2006 FIFA World Cup. After thorough examination and auditing, the DFB have found no evidence of any irregularities. Furthermore, there is no evidence that any of the delegates’ votes were won illegally at any stage in the application process.
Through the investigations, DFB became aware that a 6.7 million euro payment, which was paid to FIFA in April 2005 by the organisational committee of the 2006 World Cup, may not have been used for its intended purpose (the FIFA culture program). This payment was in no way linked to the awarding of the 2006 World Cup, which had been decided 5 years previously.
The DFB president took the opportunity in the summer of this year to launch an internal investigation, with the aim of elucidating the entire process. This investigation will also address, with the consultation of an external legal counsel, any issues pertaining to DFB’s claim to any potential repayment. The final report has not yet been released as the aforementioned investigation is still ongoing. This includes the examination by the Control Committee.
You can read the full story by SPIEGEL by clicking the link in the tweet below.
Germany may have bribed its way into hosting the 2006 World Cup. Top football officials apparently knew about it. http://t.co/6Xr26Dgd0m
— SPIEGEL English (@SPIEGEL_English) October 16, 2015