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DFB launches investigation into World Cup bribery claims

sepp blatter - cropped Sepp Blatter

The German Football Association (DFB) has announced an internal investigation into bribery claims surrounding the 2006 World Cup.

A report in Der Spiegel last week alleged that a slush fund – provided by former Adidas chief Robert Louis-Dreyfus – totalling close to $6million had been established by Germany’s World Cup bidding committee, intended to secure votes for the right to host the tournament.

DFB president Wolfgang Niersbach stated on Thursday that the payment in question was made to FIFA upon the suggestion of Franz Beckenbauer, who led the bid committee, in order to secure additional funding for the tournament.

This loan, which Niersbach insists he only became aware of earlier this year, was paid by Louis-Dreyfus but later repaid in full.

The DFB has since confirmed it will hold its own enquiry into the matter, stating it will pursue “a comprehensive, total investigation into all allegations connected with the 2006 World Cup”.

Legal team Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has already begun proceedings, the statement said.

“For the league association, and for me personally, it is crucial that everything is cleared up correctly and irrespective of the persons concerned,” said league president Dr Reinhard Rauball.

“It is imperative for German football that the entire truth comes out, even if it leads to painful discoveries.”

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