News 11 November 2015

FIFA Update: Scrutiny intensifies over Beckenbauer vote contract

Franz Beckenbauer, Head of Germany’s Organising Committee which bid for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, is alleged to have signed a contract promising FIFA Executive Committee member Jack Warner ‘various services’ shortly before Germany won the bid to host the World Cup by just one vote. The German newspapers The Süddeutsche Zeitung and Bild reported that Beckenbauer’s signature was on a draft contract with Warner, who was a member of FIFA’s executive committee that voted on the host of the 2006 tournament, promising the latter ‘benefits’ and ‘various services’.

In a press conference on Monday following the resignation of Wolfgang Niersbach, the President of the German Football Association (DFB), one of its Vice-Presidents also raised the issue of the contract. Rainer Koch, who will take over half of the President’s duties before a permanent replacement is found, said that the contract did not include “direct cash benefits” but “various services such as friendlies, support for CONCACAF coaches and tickets for World Cup games.” However Koch also said that there was no indication that the contract had been implemented.

Reinhard Rauball, the other DFB Vice-President set to step in as acting President alongside Koch, said that the contract must have “to be seen” as a bribery attempt, “or that at least such things were considered.” “We’ll have to look very closely into the circumstances of how the 2006 World Cup was awarded,” Koch said.

Last month the Sports Integrity Initiative reported that FIFA’s Ethics Committee had confirmed that investigatory proceedings had been passed against former Executive Committee member Franz Beckenbauer. Beckenbauer, alongside FIFA Vice-President Ángel María Villar Llona were reportedly under investigation for actions ‘related to the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments.’ However, Beckenbauer, as well as former DFB President Niersbach, was also under scrutiny for a €6.7 million payment by the DFB to FIFA in 2005 and allegations of slush funds and bribes to FIFA officials. Last week The Daily Mail reported that it had uncovered evidence suggesting that Beckenbauer had a ‘central role in endorsing a financial inducement to Malta just weeks before that country voted for Germany to stage the 2006 World Cup.’

In September, the FIFA Ethics Committee banned former CONCACAF President Jack Warner from football for life, four years after he resigned his posts in international football. The ban came following an inquiry into the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cup bidding process, which found that Warner ‘committed many and various acts of misconduct continuously and repeatedly.’

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