German football federation denies 2006 World Cup bribe claims

In this Aug. 10, 1999 file photo Guenter Netzer, Fedor Radmann, Wolfgang Niersbach, FIFA president Sepp Blatter, Franz Beckenbauer, head of the German bid committee, Horst R. Schmidt, secretary general of the German Football Association (DFB) and Michel Zen-Ruffinen, Fifa secretary general, from left, pose during the presentation of the 2006 FIFA World Cup Bid of Germany at the Fifa headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland. (Christoph Ruckstuhl/Keystone via AP, 1999)

BERLIN — The German football federation is denying allegations it used bribes to secure the 2006 World Cup.

The DFB says news magazine Der Spiegel’s report Friday that a slush fund of 10.3 million Swiss francs (about $6 million at that time) was used to secure four votes from FIFA’s 24-member executive committee is “completely baseless.”

The federation says it “refutes the authors’ conclusions, made without any facts, that votes were bought in this context for the awarding of the World Cup” and “that neither the DFB president nor the other members of the organizing committee were involved or could have known about such operations.”

The DFB said it “reserves the right” to take legal action against Der Spiegel.

FIFA said earlier Friday that the magazine’s “serious” allegations will be reviewed.

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