Berlin - The German FA (DFB) is set to answer corruption
allegations on Friday as accusations the 2006 World Cup was "bought"
threaten to give FIFA another headache.
The 2006 finals were lauded in Germany as a huge success
with fans from all the world lapping up the well-organised tournament over four
But the 'Sommermaerchen' ('summer fairytale') -- as the
tournament has been sentimentally dubbed by Germans -- threatens to finish with
a far-from-happy ending for both the DFB and football's governing-body FIFA.
Last October, German magazine Spiegel opened a can of worms
by claiming the DFB had used a slush fund to buy votes in order to host the
Spiegel claimed the DFB borrowed 10.3 million Swiss francs
in 2002 from Robert Louis-Dreyfus, the former CEO of German sportswear giant
Adidas, in order to buy the votes of four Asian members of FIFA's 24-strong
In 2000, Germany won the bid to stage the 2006 World Cup
ahead of South Africa by 12 votes to 11, with one abstention.
Spiegel claim the DFB transferred 6.7 million euros
($7.49m), the equivalent exchange rate for the borrowed Swiss francs at the
time, to a FIFA account.
Also read: FBI also investigate 2006 World Cup bid - report
DFB president Wolfgang Niersbach resigned over the scandal
then last month general secretary Helmut Sandrock, who helped organise the 2006
finals, suddenly quit.
German legend Franz Beckenbauer, who was chairman of the
2006 organising committee, has strenuously denied any allegations of
'Der Kaiser' claims the money was sent to FIFA to secure a
grant and admits he made a "mistake".
But the 70-year-old did little for his credibility by
admitting he signed several documents at the time without reading them first.
The DFB ordered an internal investigation and the firm
instructed to audit their 2006 bid -- business law specialists Freshfields
Bruckhaus Deringer -- will publish their results on Friday.
The findings will first be presented to the 45 members of
the DFB's executive committee in Frankfurt before a press conference is held.
"We will first take note of the results and assess the
situation. Then we will talk about the consequences in the short, medium and
long term," said the DFB's joint interim president Rainer Koch.
The DFB is bracing itself for the full extent of the
"Our position has always been to say: we want to
resolve this," said Reinhardt Rauball, who shares the job with Koch after
stepping in when Niersbach resigned.
The scandal refuses to go away.
Authorities in Frankfurt are investigating Niersbach, his
predecessor as DFB president Theo Zwanziger, and ex-general secretary Horst
Schmidt on suspicion of tax evasion. All three have denied the charges.
The German FA's offices in Frankfurt were raided last
Officers also swooped on the homes of Niersbach, Zwanziger
and Horst Schmidt.
According to the Munich-based Sueddeutsche Zeitung, even the
FBI is interested in the mysterious payment of 6.7 million euros.
In early February, the DFB started the legal process of
trying to get the 6.7 million euros back from Beckenbauer and other figures in
the organising committee.
Now football-mad Germany is waiting to discover whether or
not their treasured 2006 tournament was bought.For
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