KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: The once-gilded image of Franz Beckenbauer has been dragged down further into the mud with the latest revelations about the German 2006 World Cup hosting.
Beckenbauer, former captain then managers of World Cup winners West Germany in 1974 and 1990 respectively, moved on to become president of first the 2006 bid campaign and then the host organising committee.
However the flow of unaccounted sums of money in and out of both bid and then organising campaigns have led to a criminal case being launched by the Swiss authorities and proceedings being undertaken by the ethics committee of world federation FIFA.
Only last month Wolfgang Niersbach, a close associate of Beckenbauer in the 2006 World Cup operation and later president of the German DFB, was banned from football over connected issues. Niersbach, who has denied wrongdoing, is currently appealing his suspension.
The latest storm gathering Beckenbauer’s head emanates from a report in the news magazine Der Spiegel. This alleges that he was not only paid handsomely for what had been assumed to be an honorary role, but that he had delayed an income declaration for tax liability and that he was also paid for assistance to a betting company sponsor.
In many ways the link between Beckenbauer and Oddset may be considered as the most damaging, at a time when his power and influence within not only German or European but world football could not have been more pronounced.
Spiegel has reported confirmation from the DFB about Beckenbauer’s contract which was first apparently noted formally – but confidentially – in a report FIFA commissioned about World Cup finances from KPMG after the finals.
The audit, completed in 2008, dealt with the financial details of the completion of the host contract by the German federation.
The report refers to a 2004 sponsorship deal between the DFB and the state sports betting operator Oddset. This was one of six national sponsors of the World Cup. Each paid more than €12m for the status.
However the Oddset agreement included a financial arrangement which rewarded Beckenbauer personally by around €1m with the full knowledge of the DFB.
Simultaneously the DFB contracted with Beckenbauer to pay him €5.5m for his services, payable in five instalments between early 2005 and late 2006.
Yet the money was not declared for tax purposes. Only after a local tax office audit in 2010 was the payment revealed. The DFB, according to Spiegel, paid a €1.16m, in lieu of non-payment of tax which was later refunded to the federation by Beckenbauer.