Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
Former FIFA Executive Committee member Mohammed bin Hammam has admitted that a €6.7 million corrupt payment in connection to the awarding of the 2006 FIFA World Cup to Germany was put through his accounts. “The €6.7 million flowed into my account, yes”, he told ZDF. “But I would like to know why Germany would bribe me for something they have already received. The sum was credited to my account only after the award of the World Cup”.
In March 2016, a report commissioned by the German football association (DFB) found that the €6.7 million payment was falsely declared by the 2006 FIFA World Cup organising committee in 2005, as connected to the Opening Ceremony. It found that its actual intention was to repay a 2002 loan from then-Adidas CEO Robert Louis-Dreyfus. The German sportswear manufacturer was a FIFA Partner for the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
Once the €6.7 million was paid by the DFB to FIFA, it was transferred to Louis-Dreyfus’ Swiss bank account the same day, the report found. It also found that part of the payment was diverted through an account in Qatar connected to Mohammed bin Hammam, Kemco Scaffolding Co. He denied receiving the payments at the time.
It also found that payments were made between Dreyfus’ Swiss bank account and that of Franz Beckenbauer, who was head of the World Cup organising committee at that time. As such, whether the payment was used to help secure a larger FIFA funding grant to the World Cup organising committee, or whether there was a further ‘underlying purpose’ should ‘remain open’, read the report. Hammam was banned by FIFA for life in 2012 for paying national associations in connection to his 2011 FIFA Presidential election campaign and in connection to the 2010 voting process to appoint the hosts of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
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