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Zwanziger: 'There was a slush fund'

Theo Zwanziger has accused his successor as German FA president, Wolfgang Niersbach, of lying about a slush fund allegedly used for Germany's 2006 World Cup bid. FIFA confirmed it would launch an investigation.

Theo Zwanziger, former president of the German FA (DFB), has told "Spiegel" that Germany's World Cup 2006 Organizing Committee had access to a slush fund.

"It is obvious that there was a slush fund within the German World Cup bid," said the 70-year-old. "And it is also clear that the current DFB president hasn't only known about it for a few weeks, as he claims, but rather since 2005 at the latest. The way I see it, Niersbach is lying."

Zwanziger's comments followed a day after current DFB president Wolfgang Niersbach rejected allegations of buying votes to secure the hosting rights to the 2006 World Cup, while confirming the reported 10.3 million Swiss (6.7 million euros, $7.6 million) francs payment to FIFA to secure extra financial support.

"The awarding of the 2006 World Cup was completely above board," Niersbach said at the launch of the new German Football Museum. "There were no slush funds; there was no vote-buying."

When asked, he could not answer why the deposit was necessary to secure more funds.

German news magazine "Spiegel" reported earlier this week that money was paid into a slush fund by then-Adidas CEO Robert Louis-Dreyfus, which was to be used to buy the votes of four Asian members of FIFA's Executive Committee when it voted on the matter in mid-2000. "We don't know what FIFA did with the 10 million francs," Niersbach had said on Thursday.

FIFA said this week it would launch its own investigation into the allegations.

rd/msh (dpa)

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