Police raid German Football Association over tax evasion

Frankfurt, Nov 3 (IANS) Local police here have raided the headquarters of the German Football Association (DFB) and searched homes of several officials on Tuesday over allegations of tax evasion relating to the bidding for the hosting rights of the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

The homes of DFB President Wolfgang Niersbach and his predecessor Theo Zwanziger were raided.

The raid follows a report which claims that a secret fund of 6.7 million Euros was set up in order to buy votes to enable Germany to stage the 2006 World Cup.

In a statement, the prosecutor’s office said it had opened a probe into claims of serious tax evasion linked to the awarding of the World Cup in 2006.

Niersbach had denied the accusations, saying that the money was part of a larger FIFA fund for the DFB.

But Zwanziger had rubbished Niersbach’s claims saying: “It is clear that a slush fund existed”.

World Cup winning captain Franz Beckenbauer, who was at the helm of the 2006 World Cup organising committee, said there was a mistake in the bidding process but added that there were no votes which were bought.

“In order to receive a financial subsidy from FIFA, it was agreed to accept a recommendation from FIFA’s finance committee, which from today’s perspective, should have been rejected,” he was quoted as saying by the BBC.

Germany won the FIFA bidding race in 2000 to host the tournament six years later.

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