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2006 World Cup bid leader probed over bribe allegations

Reporter: Xu Zhen 丨 CCTV.com

09-02-2016 15:57 BJT

When Gianni Infantino took over the reins of FIFA, he said he wanted to clean up the world governing body's image. The organization was rife with corruption, some of that over who won the right to host World Cups. The 2018, and 2022 events handed to Russia and Qatar, the most scrutinized. But the awarding of the 2006 showpiece has also been questioned.

As a criminal proceeding is now underway to see if the German delegation, headed by Franz Beckenbauer may have bought the right to host that event. The new FIFA boss hoping that if something underhanded happened during the bid process, that it never happens again.

"Obviously, I cannot comment on preliminary investigations, but obviously it is not a very nice situation to have. I hope that the justice can clarify everything and we can move on," said Gianni Infantino.

Swiss authorities opened criminal proceedings against Beckenbauer and three other German members of the 2006 World Cup organizing committee. The four are suspected of fraud, money laundering, criminal mismanagement and misappropriation relating to a payment of  7.3 million dollares to FIFA in 2005. Beckenbauer headed his country's bid to win the hosting rights in 2000 in a vote of the FIFA executive committee.

Germany won 12-11 in a final-round vote against a South Africa bid backed by Nelson Mandela. Beckenbauer then chaired the organizing committee. In February, the German soccer federation published a 361-page inquiry report that tried to explain a complex trail about the payment that was being investigated by German and Swiss authorities. 

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