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DFB statement puts Beckenbauer at center of World Cup allegations

The DFB's two acting presidents have released a statement regarding a document described by media as "possibly a bribery attempt" regarding the 2006 World Cup. They have said that Franz Beckenbauer signed the document.

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Focus on Beckenbauer in World Cup scandal

Rainer Koch, one of the two acting vice presidents of the German football association (DFB), confirmed in a statement that Franz Beckenbauer signed a contractual agreement before the vote for the hosting rights of the 2006 World Cup.

The agreement supposedly promised "various services" to Jack Warner, the former president of the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF). Warner's signature also appears on the document along with Beckenbauer's and the document was dated four days before the 2006 vote, according to the statement

"In this contract, various services, not direct monetary payments, are promised by the German side," Koch said, before adding that there was no indication whether the agreement had been acted upon.

He also noted that it was not clear whether it had influenced how Warner had acted in the 2000 FIFA Executive Committee vote on the 2006 World Cup, in which Germany beat South Africa 12-11.

The news of the document's existence was first published by the Munich-based newspaper "Süddeutsche Zeitung," which did not name who had signed it. Subsequently, the mass-circulation daily "Bild" reported

Beckenbauer had signed the document

.

The "Bild" report also said that the document uncovered by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, the firm that the DFB hired to look into possible wrongdoing, was what

led former DFB President Wolfgang Niersbach to step down on Monday.

Koch and the DFB's other acting vice president, Reinhard Rauball, immediately replaced Niersbach on an interim basis.

Calls for Beckenbauer to speak out

Tuesday's DFB statement can only increase the pressure on Beckenbauer to break his silence about the report.

Koch told public broadcaster ZDF on Monday that it was "high time" for Beckenbauer to make a statement.

"Our request is that he gets more intensively involved in clearing up the affair," he said.

On Tuesday, the chairman of the Bundestag's standing committee on sport, Dagmar Freitag supported Koch's call for Beckenbauer to speak out.

"There is no other way, there are others who know more than Wolfgang Niersbach," Freitag told public broadcaster SWR.

The fact that Warner is named as the other party to the apparent agreement doesn't make matters any better. The former FIFA vice president and member of its Executive Committee has been suspended by the world governing body's Ethics Committee and is facing corruption charges in the United States. US authorities are seeking his extradition from Trinidad and Tobago.

pfd/dv (SID, dpa)

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