DFB chief Wolfgang Niersbach lying over 2006 World Cup - Theo Zwanziger
Former German football federation (DFB) president Theo Zwanziger has said successor Wolfgang Niersbach is lying over the 2006 World Cup bidding allegations.
News weekly Der Spiegel last week published allegations that Germany used a €6.7 million slush fund to buy the votes of the four Asian members of the FIFA Executive Committee to secure the right to host the 2006 tournament.
Current DFB president Niersbach -- who was part of the organising committee, which also included Franz Beckenbauer -- has claimed the €6.7m was instead paid to FIFA to release a grant of €170m that was used to facilitate the hosting of the World Cup.
He said the organising committee was unable to come up with the €6.7m but that Beckenbauer vouched for the money, which was then paid to FIFA by the head of Adidas, Robert Louis-Dreyfus. He said the organising committee then paid back the money to Louis-Dreyfus, who died six years ago, through a FIFA account in 2005.
FIFA IN CRISIS
- FIFA ban Blatter, Platini for eight years | Beckham
- Sixteen more indicted in FIFA corruption inquiry
- Two more FIFA officials arrested | Hayatou on reforms
- FIFA Executive Committee from 2010 - where are they now?
- EXCLUSIVE: FIFA probe could take five years - Swiss AG
- Amnesty slams FIFA, Qatar over workers | Dyke angry
- FIFA opens Blatter, Platini proceedings | Blatter nearly died
- Five candidates in running for FIFA | Blatter exits hospital
- Warner denies Beckenbauer agreement | Rummenigge
- Timeline of corruption | FIFA's ugly game | 538 on FIFA
He was unable to explain why FIFA would require the €6.7m -- which, according to the DFB, was intended for the world governing body's "Cultural Programme" -- in order to release the grant. FIFA has said that any such arrangement would not fit with its "procedures and guidelines."
Niersbach had also indicated that he had not been aware of the €6.7m fund until this summer, although he later admitted that he "cannot rule out" that he discussed it in 2005, while former DFB general secretary Horst R Schmidt has said the entire organising committee was told about the matter in 2004.
Speaking in Friday's edition of Der Spiegel, Zwanziger -- who was sole DFB president from 2006 to 2012 -- said Niersbach was lying about the extent of his involvement.
"It is clear that a slush fund existed," said Zwanziger, who has been accused of leaking the documents that formed the basis of last week's Der Spiegel allegations.
"It is also clear that the current DFB president knew about this for longer than a few weeks, as he has suggested. He has known about it at least since 2005.
"The way I see it, Niersbach is lying."
THE BEST OF ESPN FC
- Bell: Liverpool fans make themselves heard
- Cox: Leicester improving | Why Poch should stay
- Okwonga: Man United's market | City's title hopes
- Laurens: PSG's pre-UCL issues | Hertha's curse
- Highlights (U.S. only): Stuttgart 1-3 BVB
- FC TV: Champions League W2W4 | LVG wrong
- News | Transfer | Toe Poke | Fantasy | FC TV | Podcast | MLS
Zwanziger commissioned an investigation to check whether he was liable for punishment after having signed off the €6.7m payment in 2005, when he was a vice-president on the organising committee responsible for finance.
He said that the investigation had confirmed that Beckenbauer had, "in his functions working for the 2006 World Cup bid," signed an "individual bond" for Louis-Dreyfus in 2002.
Zwanziger also claimed that Schmidt told him during a phone conversation on Tuesday that the €6.7m that Louis-Dreyfus loaned to the organising committee went to former FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam.
Bin Hammam -- who is alleged to have been involved in Qatar's successful bid to host the 2022 World Cup -- has been banned for life by FIFA after being found guilty of "repeated violations" of its code of ethics while head of the Asian Football Confederation.
Qatar is due to sue Zwanziger for libel in February over his repeated criticisms and allegations over the Gulf state's bid to host the tournament.
Meanwhile, the DFB backed Niersbach in a press release on Friday and said that its investigation into the potential misuse of the €6.7m has been extended.
It announced last week that, although there were "no indications at all" of delegates' votes being bought, it was investigating whether the money "was not used for its stated purpose."
The DFB has asked lawyers Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, the external investigators, to include FIFA in their investigations, and said in the press release that it "expects a transparent cooperation with world football's governing body."