An eagerly awaited independent report into corruption allegations involving Germany’s 2006 World Cup organizers is expected to be published on Friday.
The German Football Federation (DFB) has been in turmoil since October, when Spiegel published allegations that the tournament organizers used a slush fund to buy Asian votes ahead of the successful bid to land the 2006 World Cup.
Among those implicated in any potential scandal are German legend Franz Beckenbauer and Wolfgang Niersbach, who stepped down as federation president in November.
The allegations surround a 6.7 million euro payment to FIFA that has never been fully explained.
The DFB hired law firm Freshfield to investigate the affair and its report is to be published on Friday.
Niersbach and several other former top officials are already under a criminal investigation.
Beckenbauer was the president of the organizing committee, whose signature appears on a note regarding the 6.7 million euro payment that apparently went to FIFA’s financial commission, reportedly in return for a financial grant to the World Cup organizing committee. The money was reportedly provided by Robert Louis-Dreyfus, the late chief of Adidas, the sportswear company which has always been had close links with German football.
Sepp Blatter, who was FIFA president at the time, has denied any knowledge of the payment.
Apart from Freshfield, prosecutors in Frankfurt are conducting a tax evasion probe targeting Niersbach, his predecessor Theo Zwanziger and another former federation official.
Coincidentally, four days before the vote in 2000 to pick the host of the 2006 tournament, Beckenbauer signed a draft deal with disgraced former head of CONCACAF, Jack Warner, promising him 1,000 World Cup hospitality packages. The purpose of the deal is unclear and while there is no evidence that it was ever implemented, Reinhard Rauball and Rainer Koch, the two acting German federation presidents, have described the draft contract as an attempt at bribery.
The 2006 World Cup vote went Germany’s way after a last minute switch from Oceania delegate Charles Dempsey. The New Zealander had been mandated to vote for South Africa, but opted instead to abstain from the final vote. No explanation for his change of heart was ever given, although Dempsey, who passed away in 2008, said afterwards that he did not vote because of the “intolerable pressure” from supporters of the German and South African bids.