Blatter disputes Beckenbauer's World Cup 2006 claims

Fri Dec 11, 2015 1:07pm EST
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By Karolos Grohmann

Lausanne, Switzerland (Reuters) - Suspended FIFA President Sepp Blatter refused to back up Franz Beckenbauer's accusation that 2006 German World Cup organizers had to pay world soccer's governing body a cash amount in order to release a bigger payment back to them, calling them absurd.

Beckenbauer, who was the 2006 World Cup organizing chief, has said a controversial 6.7 million euros payment to the soccer world governing body, currently under investigation by a German prosecutor, was made in order to release a payment of 170 million euros back to the organizers to help with preparations for the tournament.

The affair has rocked German football, with Beckenbauer, an emblematic sports figure in the country and a former World Cup winning player and coach at the heart of the scandal.

Blatter, in excerpts of an interview with Germany's Der Spiegel magazine released on Friday, said the German World Cup organizers should follow the paper trail to get to the bottom of this affair.

"This is absurd," said Blatter, adding FIFA's 170 million euro contribution to the World Cup organizers was never tied to any conditions.

"To pay money to get money? No. This does not exist at FIFA," said Blatter, who has been suspended as the federation is hit by a broader corruption scandal that has seen dozens of FIFA officials arrested.

"MEANT WELL"   Continued...

FIFA President Sepp Blatter reacts during a news conference after the Extraordinary FIFA Executive Committee Meeting at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland July 20, 2015. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann