The former head of the German FA and one of the ambassadors for the 2006 World Cup appear set to meet in court. The two are at loggerheads over a claim that illicit funds were used to land the tournament.
FormerDFB (German FA) President Theo Zwanziger
has refused to sign a declaration pledging to desist from stating that he learned from Günter Netzer that the 2006 World Cup organizing committee had bought votes to bring the tournament to Germany.
Asked by the SID news agency whether he had complied with a deadline of 14:00 CET on Friday set out by Netzer's lawyer for him to do so, Zwanziger replied: "of course I have not signed."
Netzer's lawyer, Ralf Höcker, confirmed to German sports news agency SID shortly after the deadline had passed, that no desist declaration had been received from Zwanziger.
"We will soon sue," said Höcker.
Zwanziger said that he had already answered the lawyer's letter demanding a signed declaration, stating he had no intention of signing it.
"Why should I sign something that says I have lied, when I am telling the truth?" Zwanziger said. "He can go ahead and sue."
A report published by "Spiegel" magazine earlier this month quoted Zwanziger as saying that Netzer had told him during a 2012 meeting that the committee that won the bid to host the 2006 World Cup had used a 6.7-million-euro ($7.6 million) slush fund to buy the votes of four Asian members of FIFA's Executive Committee.
Netzer, a former Germany international, has strongly denied the allegation.
TheDFB has also denied that votes were bought
in order to land the 2006 tournament, arguing that the funds were used to unlock FIFA subsidies to be used to organize the event.
pfd/jh (SID, dpa)