German FA boss condemns Beckenbauer's 2006 sponsor payment

Wed Sep 14, 2016 12:23pm EDT
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By Karolos Grohmann

ATHENS (Reuters) - Germany's Football Association (DFB) President Reinhard Grindel sharply criticized Franz Beckenbauer on Wednesday over payment from a sponsor of the 2006 World Cup that the soccer great had headed.

Beckenbauer, who led the organizing committee for the World Cup in Germany and had said he had done the work on a voluntary basis, received 5.5 million euros (4.70 million pounds) from a deal involving event sponsor Oddset.

He was not being paid by betting company Oddset but through the DFB.

"It was known that Franz Beckenbauer had been active in advertising for Oddset during the 2006 World Cup. It was not known to us that he received the noteworthy sum of 5.5 million euros out of the organizing committee pot," Grindel told reporters.

"With this background, one can certainly not claim that his activities within the organizing committee were on a volunteer basis," Grindel, speaking on the sidelines of a UEFA meeting in the Greek capital, said.

Beckenbauer, who also faces a criminal investigation over the awarding of the World Cup, was not available for comment.

His lawyers said in a statement the DFB was well aware of the contract and there was nothing hidden, with Beckenbauer being paid a percentage of the revenues for a contract he delivered to the DFB.

The former World Cup winning coach and player appeared in adverts for Oddset during the tournament but had always insisted his work for the organizing committee was unpaid.   Continued...

FILE PHOTO: Franz Beckenbauer, President of Germany's World Cup organising committee, plays with a golden soccer ball during a presentation next to the Brandenburg gate in Berlin April 18, 2006.      REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz/File Photo