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November 11, 2015

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‘Kaiser’ feels the heat to speak out

FRANZ Beckenbauer signed a contract promising a now disgraced FIFA official “various services” shortly before Germany won the vote to stage the 2006 World Cup, the acting president of the German football federation has said.

Rainer Koch said Beckenbauer’s contract with Jack Warner did not include “direct cash benefits” but “various services such as friendlies, support for Concacaf coaches and tickets for World Cup games.” There are no indications that the contract was ever implemented, Koch said in a statement.

He said yesterday that Beckenbauer had no power to make such deals on his own and that they would have needed the approval of the federation’s board, which was also noted in the contract.

Koch said the contract was drafted four days before FIFA’s vote in 2000 on the host of the 2006 World Cup, which Germany won by one vote over South Africa.

The latest revelation increased pressure on Beckenbauer, known as the “Kaiser” to speak out on the corruption allegations surrounding the 2006 World Cup. The former Bayern Munich great, who captained and coached Germany to separate World Cup titles, was the 2006 bid’s leading figure and later the president of the organizing committee.

The disclosure came one day after German soccer federation president Wolfgang Niersbach’s resignation.

“We appeal to him (Beckenbauer) to bring himself more closely into the explanation of what happened,” Koch said earlier. Koch is one of the two caretaker presidents after Niersbach’s resignation.

The second, Reinhard Rauball, said Beckenbauer’s signature could be seen as a bribery attempt, regardless of whether the contract was implemented or not.

“It has to be seen as such, or that at least such things were considered,” Rauball told Sky Germany television.

Earlier, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung and Bild first linked Beckenbauer to Warner, who was a member of FIFA’s executive committee that voted on the host of the 2006 tournament. The two dailies said the draft contract was also initialed by Beckenbauer’s right-hand man, Fedor Radmann, who has denied any attempt to buy votes.

Warner, who quit four years ago, has been suspended for life by the FIFA ethics committee and faces corruption charges in the US, which is seeking his extradition from Trinidad and Tobago.

Warner was then the chief of the CONCACAF governing body for North and Central America and the Caribbean.


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