Ex-soccer chief believes Germany paid bribe

2015-10-27 17:35

Berlin - Former German football federation president Theo Zwanziger believes Swiss court documents indicate $250,000 was paid to Oceania official Charles Dempsey on the eve of the vote in July 2000 in which Germany won the right to stage the 2006 World Cup.

A court document in a trial of executives from the collapsed Swiss sports marketing company ISL show the sum was transferred to an anonymous recipient marked only as E16, according to a report in Germany's Bild newspaper Tuesday.

Zwanziger has presented reporters from Bild with the document in which it is suggested that former FIFA executive committee member Dempsey, the then Oceania confederation president from New Zealand, received the money as a bribe.

Zwanziger has written "Dempsey!" next to the payment made on July 5, 2000. Next to a further transfer of $250,000 made a month earlier in a list of payments from ISL, Zwanziger has again written "Dempsey?", but with a question mark instead of an exclamation mark, according to the document from 2012 published by Bild.

In the final round of voting for the 2006 World Cup on July 6, 2000, Dempsey, who died in 2008 at the age of 87, ignored the reported Oceania confederation instruction to vote for South Africa and abstained, allowing Germany to win a 12-11 vote against South Africa.

On arriving back in New Zealand, he told reporters he had been threatened by "influential European interests" that if he voted for South Africa there would be "adverse effects" for Oceania. He denied he accepted bribes.

ISL, which collapsed in 2001, was closely affiliated with world football governing body FIFA.

Former FIFA president Joao Havelange and his former son-in-law and Brazilian football supremo, Ricardo Teixeira, received millions of dollars in bribes from ISL for World Cup marketing deals, court documents from the Swiss investigation showed.

In total, ISL made payments of 138 million Swiss francs (140 million dollars at today's rates) in bribes between 1989 and 2001, involving several FIFA officials. FIFA president Joseph Blatter was cleared by its ethics committee of any wrongdoing in the affair.

The German football federation DFB has denied it paid bribes to secure the 2006 World Cup. However, the federation says it made a payment of 6.7 million euros ($7.6 million) to FIFA in 2002.

The money was to secure "organizational support in grants to the amount of 250 Swiss francs," agreed upon in a personal meeting between organizing committee chief Franz Beckenbauer and Blatter, DFB president Wolfgang Niersbach has said.

Germany' Spiegel magazine reported on October 16 that the German bid committee had a slush fund which was used to secure four crucial votes from Asian FIFA executives at the host nation election in 2000.

The money came from the private funds of former Adidas chief Robert Louis-Dreyfus.

The DFB has denied the existence of a slush fund and said no bribes were paid to secure World Cup votes.

Niersbach said money was provided to the organizing committee by Louis-Dreyfus and then paid back to FIFA in 2005, to be passed on to Louis-Dreyfus, in 2005. However the DFB does not know what then happened to the payment, Niersbach said.

Beckenbauer was questioned Monday before a DFB external investigative commission and released a statement admitting to a "mistake" in the bidding for the 2006 World Cup.

"There were no votes bought to win the bid for the 2006 World Cup," he said.

Read more on:    fifa bribery scandal  |  soccer

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