Franz Beckenbauer admits 'mistake' in 2006 World Cup bid

Franz Beckenbauer
Beckenbauer was questioned by a law firm hired by the German Football Association

Germany's World Cup-winning captain and former coach Franz Beckenbauer has said he made a "mistake" in the bidding process to host the 2006 World Cup, but denied that votes were bought.

Beckenbauer was the head of the World Cup organising committee, which reports allege made a payment to Fifa in return for a financial grant.

The 70-year-old said a Fifa proposal "should have been rejected".

Germany beat South Africa in 2000 to host the tournament six years later.

Beckenbauer added that he took "responsibility for this mistake".

Der Spiegel magazine reported on 16 Octoberexternal-link that an alleged slush fund of 6.7 million euros (£4.8m) was used to buy votes for Germany - an allegation denied by the German Football Association (DFB).

'Der Kaiser'
Born: 11 September, 1945Nationality: German
Teams played for: Bayern Munich, New York Cosmos, Hamburg and West GermanyHonours as player: Bundesliga (5), German Cups (4), European Cups (3), Uefa Cup Winners' Cup, 1974 World Cup, 1972 European Championship
Teams managed: West Germany, Marseille, Bayern MunichHonours as manager: 1990 World Cup, Bundesliga, Uefa Cup, Ligue 1
Individual honours: Ballon d'Or (2), German footballer of year (4)International caps: 103

Beckenbauer denied sending "money to anyone in order to buy votes" in a statement on 18 October, but gave further details after being questioned on Monday by a law firm hired by DFB to investigate the claims.

"In order to get a subsidy from Fifa [for the organisation of the 2006 World Cup] those involved went ahead with a proposal from the Fifa finance commission that in today's eyes should have been rejected.

"I, as president of the then-organising committee bear the responsibility of this mistake."

Beckenbauer captained West Germany to victory as hosts at the 1974 World Cup, and was coach when they next lifted the trophy in Italy 16 years later.

He then managed Olympique Marseille and Bayern Munich, where he is now honorary president.

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