by Miranda Tuttle
The German Football Association (DFB) is under investigation for allegedly paying to secure winning votes in the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
On November 3, the German police department searched the homes of DFB president Wolfgang Niersbach, his predecessor Theo Zwanzgier, and a FIFA executive committee member. Hard drives and documents were also seized at the DFB headquarters in Frankfurt as part of the ongoing investigation.
The accused members of the committee are cooperating with the investigation and have indicated they want the matter resolved quickly. Investigators have uncovered information suggesting a secret €6.7 million ($3.72 million in U.S.) fund was set up to secure votes for Germany win in 2006 soccer World Cup.
The DFB denies these allegations. An internal audit has failed to find any trace of the 6.7million euros in the DFB’s tax documents.
Fifa President Sepp Blatter is being suspended along with Secretary General Jerome Valcke and Vice-President Michel Platini for suspicion of criminal mismanagement until further allegations are investigated.
Former World Cup bid leader Franz Beckenbauer said the committee had made “a mistake” over the money but that “no votes were bought”. He and President Wolfgang Niersbach say the money was paid in order to secure further Fifa funding. Niersbach has denied accusations, saying, “There was no slush fund, there was no vote buying.” He claimed instead that the money was used to secure €170 million in funding.
The DFB has launched an internal investigation into what happened to the money. If any of the accused are found guilty, they could face 10 years in jail.