FRANKFURT: Yet another mystery payment involving embattled world football federation FIFA has come to light writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Controversy has surrounded payments authorised by now-banned president Sepp Blatter to UEFA head Michel Platini and to former Soviet football supremo Vyacheslav Koloskov.
Now the German inquiry into the 2006 World Cup bidding and staging has uncovered a €40m payment demanded by FIFA of the organising committee in the years before the finals.
Speculation has been prompted about whether the money was connected in any way to the re-election of Blatter as FIFA president in 2002, when he came under heavy pressure after the collapse of marketing partner ISL.
Last year Wolfgang Niersbach resigned as head of the German DFB over confusion concerning a €6.7m payment channelled to FIFA and linked to an original loan to the DFB from the late former Adidas owner Robert Louis-Drefus.
The 2006 bid and organising committees were led by Franz Beckenbauer and have also fallen foul over the revelation of a proposed deal with Jack Warner, the disgraced former president of central and north American confederation CONCACAF.
Warner, a Trinidadian politician, is currently contested an extradition application from the United States over the FIFAGate scandal.
In two weeks time lawyers from Freshfields are due to submit a formal report to DFB leaders over the 2006 World Cup bidding and staging arrangements.
This will include the result of an inquiry, still ongoing, into the ‘African connection’.
Apparently, in 2002 or 2003 FIFA demanded €40M from the Germans as contributory payment towards the cost of hotels, tickets, information technology and a “solidarity tax” for Africa. The German LOC contested the assessment but paid €20m.