BERLIN – JULY 09: Alessandro Del Piero of Italy kisses the World Cup trophy following his team’s victory in a penalty shootout at the end of the FIFA World Cup Germany 2006 Final match between Italy and France at the Olympic Stadium on July 9, 2006 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Report: Germany accused of buying rights to host 2006 World Cup

A report released in German magazine “Der Spiegel” today claims that the hosting rights for the 2006 World Cup were won by Germany because of bribes funded by former adidas CEO Robert Louis-Dreyfus, who died in 2009.

The report claims that a 13 million Swiss Franc fund was used to pay for the votes of the four Asian members of the Executive Committee.

This includes South Korean Dr. Chung Mong-Joon, who drew a six-year ban last week from FIFA’s Ethics Committee. Mong-Joon said the report was “unworthy of a response.”

Germany won the vote to host the event in July 2000, narrowly beating out South Africa after a 12-11 final vote of FIFA’s Executive Committee. New Zealand’s Charles Dempsey abstained in the final round of voting.

“Der Spiegel” goes on to claim that the fund was a loan, and was paid back through back channels to avoid suspicion.

Internal documents show that a cover was created with the help of global football organizing body FIFA to facilitate the payment. Using the cover, the Germans made a €6.7 million contribution for a gala FIFA Opening Ceremony that had been planned at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, but was later cancelled. The money had been paid into a FIFA bank account in Geneva. From there, FIFA allegedly promptly transferred the money to a Zurich account belonging to Louis-Dreyfus.

The magazine also alleges that Franz Beckenbauer, head of the bidding committee, Wolfgang Niersbach, the current leader of the German Football Federation (DFB), and other high-ranking football officials were aware of the fund.

Neither man has commented on the report, and the DFB has confirmed the payment, but made no additional comment.

This is the latest bad publicity in a month chock full of it for FIFA, as last week president Sepp Blatter, UEFA boss Michel Platini and other officials were slapped with 90-day bans by the ethics committee.

(Der Spiegel)

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About Randy Capps

South Carolina native, Fulham apologist, writer and sports fanatic.