4 Nov 2015
As the graft claims over Germany’s awarding of the 2006 World Cup widened, the police raided the offices of the German Football Federation (DFB) and homes of top officials on Tuesday over tax evasion allegations. More than 50 officers were deployed in the raid. DFB headquarters as well as the residences of the present president Wolfgang Niersbach, his predecessor Theo Zwanziger and ex-general secretary Horst Schmidt on Tuesday. So far Franz Beckenbauer’s name has not surfaced in the police reports.
Niersbach has denied the allegations, saying “there was no slush fund, there was no vote buying”.
He said that the money (Euro 6.7 million) was used to secure a Euro 170 million loan from FIFA. That is almost 4% of the loan amount. This does not sound right. But his predecessor, Zwanziger has accused Niersbach of lying, saying “that there was a slush fund in the German World Cup bidding process”. In the meantime Beckenbauer denied that votes were bought but has admitted making a “mistake” in the bidding process to host the 2006 World Cup.
The alleged slush fund of 6.7 million Euros was used to bribe Maltese Football Association to get it to vote in favour of Germany to host 2006 World Cup. The payment was shown in the books of DFB as a contribution to a cultural program in FIFA. The money was used for other purposes. Therefore the expenses are not deductible for tax purposes. Hence the police are using tax evasion to file the charges as graft claims could not be pursued due to the statute of limitations.
Former Brazilian soccer chief Jose Maria Marin was extradited from Switzerland to the United States on Tuesday, to face charges of corruption at the highest levels. Marin was handed over to two US police officers in Zurich who accompanied him on a flight to New York.
There will be more investigations by the US and Swiss authorities as now they have more leads into murky affairs of FIFA.