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Germany denies allegation of buying World Cup votes.

GERMAN football has been plunged into a corruption crisis after its national association was forced to deny allegations that a secret slush fund was set up to buy votes for the 2006 World Cup.

The German magazine Der Spiegel said it has documents detailing a 6.7million euros fund that was set up using money provided by then-Adidas chief executive Robert Louis-Dreyfus, acting in a private capacity.

It claimed the money was later re-paid to Dreyfus in 2005 using FIFA as cover - the German World Cup organising committee made a 6.7million euro contribution for a gala opening ceremony at Berlin's Olympic Stadium which was later cancelled.

Der Spiegel said the money was paid into a FIFA bank account in Geneva and from there transferred to a Zurich account belonging to LouisDreyfus, who has since died. Der Spiegel claimed 2006 World Cup organising committee president and football legend Franz Beckenbauer and German Football Association (DFB) president Wolfgang Niersbach - who is also a UEFA and FIFA executive committee member - were aware of the slush fund by 2005. Neither has responded to the claim.

The DFB said in a statement: "The payment was in no way connected with obtaining the (World Cup) five years earlier.

"These suggestions led to the DFB presidency ordering an internal investigation this summer with the scope of finding an explanation.

"This analysis also examined whether the DFB has any right to reclaim [the money]."

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Oct 17, 2015
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