FRANKFURT: A senior German politician has suggested that DFB president Wolfgang Niersbach should consider resigning over the 2006 World Cup slush fund scandal writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Ozcan Mutlu, sports policy spokesman for the Greens, was speaking out over the weekend as the storm showed no signs of abating.
Lawyers Gunter Netzer are threatening to sue former German federation president Theo Zwanziger for his accusations while Maltese federation head Norman Darmanin Demajo has regenerated allegations first aired two years ago about the use of TV rights to Bayern Munich friendlies to influence FIFA exco members.
The storm erupted two weeks ago after Der Spiegel suggested that a mystery payment of €6.7m from the DFB to FIFA in 2005 had been used to repay a loan to the late Robert Louis-Dreyfus, former owner and ceo of Adidas, for cash to fund a bidding slush fund.
Franz Beckenbauer and Niersbach, respectively World Cup bid president and senior executive, have denied the existence of a slush fund. Zwanziger has described their denials as lies, an allegation for which he risks legal action by Gunter Netzer, who headed the go-between Swiss agency, CWL, involved in the TV rights sale.
Mutlu said: “If Niersbach is incapable of answering the many questions about all this then it firms up the suspicion that there was a slush fund. There must be consequences. The DFB must ask itself if such a president is still credible. I would say: ‘Herr Niersbach, clear the way!’”
Mutlu is a member of the parliamentary sports commission which invited Niersbach to a private hearing. He refused to appear, claiming the need to await the results of an internal DFB being conducted by external lawyers.
“I am very disappointed,” said Mutlu. “In the last 14 days nothing has emerged to shed light on this on this, in fact it has only grown ever more dark.
“We will, if the DFB cannot respond to our call, invite Herr Zwanziger, Herr Beckenbauer and Herr Netzer in the hope that they will come and enlighten us.”
The initial report from Spiegel had suggested that the slush fund had been used to influence votes in the 2006 bidding from at least two African FIFA delegates as well as Josef Mifsud who was then president of the Maltese FA.
Mifsud’s presidential successor, Norman Darmanin Demajo, has stated that he was surprised when, as treasurer in 2000 when $250,000 landed in the MFA account from CWL for rights to a friendly match against Bayern.
Beckenbauer, as well as being German bid leader, was also president of Bayern at the time.