“Beckenbauer, please call in” begs Evi Simeoni
In the latest contribution by the Frankfurter Allgemeine daily on the discussion about the 6.7 million Euros which Germany’s 2006 World Cup organizers are believed to have received at some point in time from the late former Adidas boss Robert Louis-Dreyfus and later transferred to some account or other of FIFA.
Discussing the hullabaloo of speculation and investigations, Simeoni finally comes to questions such as: “Were the 2006 World Cup Finals bought or not? Was the Organizing Committee blackmailed by FIFA? Did German football have to financially support the re-election of Joseph Blatter in 2002?”
“We would really like to know that”, continues the newspaper’s chief sports columnist. “And there is one person who could really tell us everything: Franz Beckenbauer. His ex-friend Niersbach (the current DFB President, the editor) has even publicly stated that he had negotiated the whole thing in a personal conversation with Joseph Blatter.
“But the usually so jovial Beckenbauer is keeping silent and is making reference to the ongoing investigation. That, it is to be heard, could take weeks. And then? It is to be feared that the summer fairy tale will end just like all others of its kind: And if they hadn’t died, they would have “lived happily ever after.”
In dispute between the former DFB President, Theo Zwanziger, and the former football artist Günter Netzer, the opposing parties are sticking to their statements. Netzer insists that he has never said that the Germans had bought four votes of the FIFA Executive Committee. And Zwanziger continues to maintain that that was what he had heard from Netzer in a Zurich restaurant. The fact that Netzer brings his wife into the game as a witness, is not accepted by Zwanziger. She had only been sitting with us for half an hour, he says, and refuses to make the cease and desist declaration demanded by Netzer.
Described as the key figure in the affair by the German dpa news agency, Theo Zwanziger has in the mean time appeared before the external DFB investigators. He met with the lawyers from the Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer law firm, and as he put it had “put all his documents on the table”. When Der Spiegel two weeks ago reported about slush funds in connection with the 2006 Bid or Organizing Committee, the news magazine had made reference to statements by Zwanziger.
Reprinted by Courtesy of Sport Intern, the international inside World Sports news letter.