Fresh FIFA Oceania corruption claims: Bribes taken

AUCKLAND, 28 OCTOBER 2015 (STUFF NZ) ----A former FIFA official has thrown his weight behind claims that a bribe was paid to former Oceania football boss Charles Dempsey to help Germany win the 2006 World Cup.

The Scottish-born New Zealander, who died in 2008, was a central figure in the controversial vote in 2000 which awarded the tournament to Germany.

Former German football federation president Theo Zwanziger has provided German newspaper Bild with a Swiss court document, which he believes shows US$250,000 (NZ$398,000) was paid to Dempsey on the eve of the vote.

Zwanziger headed the German Football Association from 2006 to 2012, and was a member of FIFA's executive committee from 2011 until leaving earlier this year.

The document came from the trial of executives from collapsed Swiss sports marketing company ISL, German news outlet Deutsche Welle reported.

Dempsey was not named on the document, which showed the money was transferred to an anonymous person referred to as "E16".

Zwanziger is adamant "E16" was Dempsey - but didn't give evidence to back up his claim.

The reports follow last month's release of a book by investigative journalist Andrew Jennings, The Dirty Game: Uncovering the Scandal at FIFA, which alleged Dempsey was paid US$250,000 not to vote for South Africa, thereby awarding the tournament to Germany.

Dempsey declined to take part in the final round of the voting process. He had voted for England in the first two rounds but was under instruction to back the South African bid once England were eliminated from contention.

Instead, he abstained and left the vote at 12-11 in favour of Germany. Had the vote been tied, FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who had previously expressed his desire for football's biggest tournament to be held on the African continent, would have held the deciding vote.

Dempsey denied accepting a bribe, telling journalists at the time he had been threatened by "influential European interests" that if he voted for South Africa there would be "adverse effects" for Oceania.

He denied accepting a bribe.

Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) secretary general Tai Nicholas and former All Whites coach Kevin Fallon both defended Dempsey, saying the book's allegations were unfounded.

"Charlie was a millionaire. He bought new Jaguars and he travelled first-class, even when he wasn't on FIFA business. He had no reason at all to sully his reputation by taking 400 grand.

"It's very easy for people to make these allegations about someone who's not here to defend himself."

Fallon, who worked with Dempsey at New Zealand Football and the OFC, said the 2006 World Cup finals vote impasse was "a convoluted story" and he felt "someone has put two and two together and got five".

The Swiss investigation revealed former FIFA officials received millions of dollars from ISL in exchange for marketing deals.

The German Football Association denies there was a slush fund behind its 2006 World Cup hosting bid.

The claim, which hit headlines earlier this month, is now under investigation by Frankfurt's state prosecutor....PACNEWS



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