The former president of the German FA (DFB) Theo Zwanziger says he was certain that there was a slush fund involved in the bidding process of the 2006 World Cup.

“It is clear that there was a slush fund in the German World Cup bidding process,” he told Spiegel magazine.

“It is also clear that the current DFB president knew of this already in 2005, and not only a few weeks ago as he claimed,” added Zwanziger, who headed the German Football Association from 2006 to 2012.

“The way I see it, Niersbach is lying,” he claimed.

German football has been stunned by claims in a Spiegel report last week that the 2006 World Cup bidding committee had accepted a 10.3 million Swiss francs (€6.7 million at that time) loan from former Adidas chief Robert Louis-Dreyfus.

Spiegel claims that the loan was used to buy the votes of four Asian members of FIFA’s 24-strong executive committee.

In what was a controversial vote in July 2000, Germany defeated South Africa by 12 votes to 11 for the right to host the 2006 World Cup.

But Niersbach claimed on Thursday that the payment was actually made upfront to FIFA in order to secure a €170 million subsidy from world football’s governing body.

He insisted that there was nothing untwoard about the 2002 payment.

“There was no slush fund, there was no vote buying,” he said, although he conceded he did not know what ahappened to the money after it was transferred to Fifa.

“That the financial support of FIFA World Cup Organising Committees should be coupled to any kind of financial advance payment by the respective organising committee or the relevant football association in no way corresponds to FIFA’s standard processes and regulations,” the governing body’s statement said.

FIFA also denied receiving any payment worth €6.7 million euros from Louis-Dreyfus.

Zwanziger claimed that he now knew where the money was destined for.

In the Spiegel interview, he said he was told last week by Horst R. Schmidt, then World Cup organising committee’s vice president, that the disgraced former FIFA vice president Mohamed Bin Hammam was the recipient.

Hammam was in 2014 banned for life from football activities, after being found to have bought votes in an election against Sepp Blatter.