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Franz Beckenbauer accused over Jack Warner contract by acting DFB chiefs

Acting German FA (DFB) president Reinhard Rauball has accused Franz Beckenbauer of "attempted bribery" as the pressure grows over the 2006 World Cup scandal.

Rauball is leading the DFB in a caretaker role alongside Rainer Koch after Wolfgang Niersbach resigned the presidency amid the ongoing controversy

Beckenbauer and Niersbach were both part of the organising committee for the World Cup in Germany, which has been the subject of a series of allegations of corruption.

Beckenbauer has said he made a "mistake" in making a €6.7 million payment to FIFA in return for a financial grant to the organising committee but denied Der Spiegel's claim that the money was used to buy the votes of four FIFA Executive Committee members

The 70-year-old honorary Bayern Munich president is facing new questions over an attempt to win the vote of another former FIFA Executive Committee member, Jack Warner, who was banned from football activity for life in September.

The DFB's internal investigation showed Beckenbauer and his advisor Fedor Radmann, who was also on the bid committee, had drafted a contract offering Warner "various services," Koch confirmed to German news agency dpa

Koch said Beckenbauer signed the agreement on July 2, 2000, which is reported to have made a variety of assurances, including promises on World Cup tickets and friendly matches. Radmann also initialled the document.

"A contractual agreement was signed by Franz Beckenbauer on the German side and Jack Warner on the CONCACAF side," Koch said.

"In this contract, various services, but no direct financial payments, are promised from the German side." 

Although it is unclear whether the paperwork was ever finalised, Rauball told Die Welt: "The contract was attempted bribery. Verbalisations allow that conclusion."

Earlier this month, the president of the Maltese FA raised concerns over a friendly match involving Bayern that, according to the Mail on Sunday, was agreed in 2000, prior to the World Cup vote, during a secret meeting involving Beckenbauer.

Bayern also agreed friendlies in Thailand, Tunisia, and Trinidad & Tobago ahead of the World Cup vote, with all TV rights held by CWL.

According to reports in Suddeutsche Zeitung and Manager Magazin in 2003, former FIFA Executive Committee members Worawi Makudi, of Thailand, and Warner, of Trinidad & Tobago, were contract partners of CWL.

While Bayern played the friendlies against the national teams of Thailand and Malta as well as a game against Tunisian club L'Esperance Tunis, they never made it to Trinidad & Tobago "due to time constraints."

Koch had told ZDF TV on Monday evening that it was "high time" for Beckenbauer -- who won the World Cup with Germany as both player and coach -- to clarify matters and help the DFB answer questions on what exactly happened.

Franz Beckenbauer drafted a contract promising 'various services' to Jack Warner, the DFB has said.

Meanwhile, Germany "team manager" Oliver Bierhoff has ruled himself out of the running for the DFB presidency.

The 47-year-old former Germany international had been touted as a potential successor to Niersbach but told a news conference prior to the upcoming friendlies with France and Netherlands that he has other priorities.

"The presidency is not an issue for me," Bierhoff said in Munich. "I have to prepare the national team for a European Championship. It's been a successful project in the past 10 years, and we want to continue on that path."

Niersbach left his post on Monday, saying he was taking "political responsibility" for the affair but adding: "I have absolutely nothing to reproach myself for."

Bierhoff added that while he was taken aback by Niersbach's decision to resign, "the bad news for us was good news for the public" because the internal and external investigations continue to make progress.

The scandal broke in mid-October when news weekly Der Spiegel reported that in 2000, ahead of the vote to decide the host country for the 2006 World Cup, a slush fund of 10.3m Swiss francs (around €6.7m) was set up -- with a financial injection from former Adidas CEO Robert Louis-Dreyfus -- to buy the votes of Asian representatives on FIFA's Executive Committee.

Last week, tax investigators raided the DFB's headquarters as well as private properties belonging to Niersbach, former DFB president Theo Zwanziger and former general secretary Horst R. Schmidt amid suspicions of fraud concerning a €6.7m payment to FIFA in 2002.

Niersbach last month said the payment was used to release a FIFA grant of €170m for the hosting of the tournament, although he could not explain why that course of events had been necessary. 

Frankfurt prosecutors have said they are continuing their investigations into Niersbach, Zwanziger and Schmidt. The DFB and Freshfields -- an external company hired by the DFB -- will also continue their inquiries.

Zwanziger, who was part of the organising committee, has accused Niersbach of lying over the affair and said last week he was delighted by the tax investigation.

A FIFA spokesman confirmed to Reuters on Monday that Niersbach will remain on the organisation's Executive Committee.

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