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German government probes World Cup corruption claims

28 October 2015, 20:27

Berlin - Angela Merkel's federal government is looking into the corruption allegations blighting German football, it was confirmed Wednesday.

A Germany Interior Ministry (BMI) spokesman told SID, an AFP subsidiary, that they were reviewing documents concerning the organisation of the 2006 World Cup.

German football has been rocked over an unexplained payment of 6.7 million euros ($7.43m) made to FIFA by the German Football Association (DFB).

Also read: Sturridge still out injured - Klopp

Magazine Spiegel has alleged the DFB used the money to buy the votes of four members of FIFA's executive committee to secure the hosting of the 2006 World Cup.

The DFB and FIFA are both investigating the claims and the German government is now also looking into the allegations.

The ministry's inquiry is understood to be centred on whether then interior minister Otto Schily, who was part of the World Cup organising committee, had been deceived by the DFB.

"As the former interior minister was a member of the organising committee's supervisory board, the ministry is checking its own files and is supporting the investigation as far as possible," said a BMI spokeswoman.

The 6.7 million euros used by the DFB came from public funds and had appeared in the organisation's annual reports as a contribution towards the opening ceremony.

Franz Beckenbauer, who was head of the 2006 organising committee, has denied the money was used to buy votes, but has admitted making "a mistake".

"In order to obtain a FIFA grant, we accepted a proposition coming from FIFA's finance commission that the implicated parties should, in retrospect, have refused," the 'Kaiser' has said.

The 70-year-old is under investigation by FIFA although the world governing body has not specified the nature of the probe.



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