Berlin - Germany's bid committee for the 2006 World Cup had a slush fund of 10.3 million Swiss francs (10.8 million dollars) to help it land the event, Der Spiegel news magazine says.
The report on the Spiegel website said that the fund was used to secure the votes of four Asian delegates at the deciding FIFA vote.
Der Spiegel said money came from then Adidas boss Robert Louis-Dreyfus and that bid committee chief Franz Beckenbauer and current German football federation (DFB) president Wolfgang Niersbach were aware of it, the latter at least since 2005.
The money never appeared in any budget of the bid and organising committee, and Dreyfus reportedly wanted the sum - allegedly 6.7 million euros - back in 2005. The sum was sent to FIFA, officially for a planned but then cancelled opening gala on the eve of the tournament, and to be then returned to Louis-Dreyfus, Der Spiegel said, citing confidential documents.
The DFB earlier Friday issued a statement in which it dismissed irregularities and vote-buying in landing the tournament. It said that a sum of 6.7 million euros sent to FIFA in 2005 may have then been used improperly but was "in no way linked to the awarding of the 2006 World Cup."