FRANKFURT: Franz Beckenbauer is to meet lawyers acting for the German football federation tomorrow to explain the background to the controversial letter to Jack Warner concerning the 2006 World Cup bid writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
This is the latest step in the saga over the mystery €6.7m loan which the German federation repaid via FIFA to the late Robert Louis-Dreyfus in the run-up to the country’s hosting of the finals nine years ago.
The controversy prompted the resignation a fortnight ago of Wolfgang Niersbach as president of the DFB.
Niersbach, a member of the executive committees of both FIFA and UEFA, had been an executive vice-president of the German 2006 bid and organising committees. He stepped down from the DFB leadership “to take political responsibility”.
This has not removed the focus from Beckenbauer who had been bid and organising chairman and whose signature was at the foot of an aid offer letter to Warner. The latter, then head of the central and north American confederation and a significant FIFA powerbroker, had sought development aid and tickets as a ‘consideration’ ahead of the host award vote.
In the event the letter was not sent and Germany pipped South Africa by one vote.
Beckenbauer, in an interview with the Suddeutschezeitung, said he was ready to answer all questions about the Warner letter “at short notice in Frankfurt or wherever . . . and answer all questions about the 2006 World Cup bid to the best of my knowledge and belief and answer questions.”
The DFB had put the inquiry in the hands of Freshfields whose lawyers Beckenbauer is now due to meet on Tuesday.
Recalling the Warner letter, Beckenbauer said: “At the time we were just well-intentioned.” He has agreed that, in the light of recent scandals, the letter appeared suspicious and blamed naiveity, saying: “I signed whatever was put in front of me.”