German FA opens investigation into what happened to millions intended for Fifa cultural programme.

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The German Football Association (DFB) has revealed it is investigating a 6.7-million-euro payment from the 2006 World Cup organising committee to FIFA that may not have been used as intended.

But the DFB insists that the money had nothing to do with the process of winning the right to host the 2006 World Cup.

The organisation said it was looking into how the payment from the German organising committee in 2005 to world football’s governing body for its cultural programme was used.

“With the ongoing investigation in relation to FIFA and because of more speculation in the media, the German Football Association looked internally at the awarding of the 2006 World Cup,” it said in a statement.

“Within the framework of these investigations, the DFB found no indication of irregularities while there was equally no indication whatsoever that votes of delegates were bought.”

The DFB said it had been informed of the 2005 payment to FIFA by the German organisers of the 2006 World Cup and was looking into whether it was used for Fifa’s cultural programme as intended.

“During the time of this analysis, the DFB was made aware that in April 2005 a payment of €6.7 million was made by the 2006 World Cup organisation committee to FIFA, which possibly was not used for its stated purpose (FIFA’s cultural programme). This payment was in no way related to the awarding of the tournament five years earlier.

“These suggestions led to the DFB presidency ordering an internal investigation in the summer of this year, which was aimed at explaining this occurrence. This analysis, which also saw law advisors consulted on the question, also examined the question as to whether the DFB has any right to ask for a refund in relation to this.

“The result of that is not yet known as the investigation is still in progress.”

FIFA has been embroiled in the biggest crisis in its year history since 14 officials and sports marketing executives were indicted by US authorities on bribery, money laundering and fraud charges.

Following the arrests, Swiss authorities began their own investigation and last month opened criminal proceedings against outgoing FIFA president Sepp Blatter for criminal mismanagement.

He was banned for 90 days by FIFA’s ethics committee along with Michel Platini, president of European football’s governing body, and the favourite to succeed Blatter in next year’s presidential election.

In July 2000, Germany won the vote to host the 2006 finals by 12 votes to 11 over favourites South Africa. Oceania delegate Charles Demspey, who had been mandated by his federation to support South Africa, abstained at the last minute, resulting in the finals being awarded to Germany.

The New Zealander subsequently claimed he had been threatened by “influential European interests” that if he voted for South Africa there would be “adverse effects” for Oceania.