ZURICH: New allegations concerning Franz Beckenbauer have prompted renewed speculation into the financial relationship between FIFA and South African World Cup bosses writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
This follows reports that Swiss federal prosecutors are studying further concerns over the business affairs of Beckenbauer, Germany’s greatest-ever footballer.
Beckenbauer, now 71, headed up the 2006 World Cup bid and then organising committees and was a member of the executive committee of international governing body FIFA from 2007 to 2011.
He and fellow members of the German 2006 operation have come under investigation by criminal authorities in Germany and Switzerland, as well as from the FIFA ethics committee, over mysterious payments from and to the late Robert Louis-Dreyfus, at the time owner of sportswear giant Adidas.
The Swiss Federal Prosecutor’s Office opened a preliminary investigation against Beckenbauer last September.
Now the German media is reporting concerns over previously unknown payments to Beckenbauer connected with the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Bild-Zeitung has claimed that the South African Football Association was in financial difficulties in 2005 and turned to FIFA for help in paying invoices for three consultants who had helped its successful 2010 World Cup hosting bid.
These three were Beckenbauer and his long-time aides Andreas Abold and Fedor Radmann. The three later worked with Australia on FFA’s vain bid to win host rights to the 2022 World Cup.
FIFA apparently paid the trio €1.7m for their work on behalf of the South African 2010 bid committee with Urs Linsi, then then FIFA general secretary, approving payment even though project rules prohibit bid committees from reclaiming costs.
Abold and Radmann were paid directly but Beckenbauer’s money was routed to a company based in Gibraltar by Markus Kattner, the then FIFA finance chief . Kattner was sacked by FIFA last year after revelations about his excessive pay and contractual arrangements.
Beckenbauer, who stepped back from public and media roles last year while denying all wrongdoing, has offered no comment on the latest reports.
The South African 2010 bid operation came under scrutiny through revelations from the FIFAGate corruption investigation undertaken by the United States authorities.
US Court papers alleged that the South Africans paid $10m to the North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) in return for votes to host the 2010 World Cup.
Ostensibly the money was to support an African diaspora project in the Caribbean being overseen by the notorious CONCACAF president Jack Warner.
In fact the money, at the South Africans’ request, was paid by FIFA out of monies due from the world federation to the 2010 organising committee.
Now, further unorthodox financial connections between South Africa and the FIFA regime run by disgraced former FIFA president Sepp Blatter are out in the open.