Franz Beckenbauer’s silence only adds to 2006 World Cup scandal

Ryland James 12:18 11/11/2015
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Answers are required: Franz Beckenbauer (l).

Franz Beckenbauer is under growing pressure to explain his part in Germany’s 2006 World Cup scandal amidst reports of a document pointing the finger at the legendary player and coach.

German football has lurched into a crisis over magazine Spiegel’s report last month alleging that the votes of four members of FIFA’s executive committee were bought in 2000, when Germany narrowly won the vote to host the 2006 finals.

At the centre of the scandal is  €6.7 million (Dh26.3m), which is alleged to have been used to purchase the support of FIFA’s executive committee.

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The scandal took a dramatic twist last week when police carried out raids at the Frankfurt headquarters of the German Football Association (DFB) and led to Wolfgang Niersbach resigning as DFB president on Monday.

State prosecutors have revealed three men – including Niersbach, ex-DFB president Theo Zwanziger and ex-general secretary Horst Schmidt – are being investigated for serious tax fraud surrounding the FIFA payment.

Despite his pivotal position in the 2006 World Cup – first in leading the successful bid and later as chairman of the tournament’s organising committee – Beckenbauer, 70, has stayed tight-lipped in the last fortnight, even as Niersbach took “political responsibility” in 
resigning as DFB boss.

But now German daily Bild claims to have seen a draft agreement, signed in part by Beckenbauer, which it says was aimed at “buying votes for the German bid”.

Munich-based Sueddeutsche Zeitung also quoted sources having seen the same document, reportedly signed in July 2000, just four days before Germany beat South Africa by 12 votes to 11 for the right to host the 2006 World Cup finals.

Beckenbauer is already being investigated by FIFA’s ethics committee, which is looking into the controversial awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup finals to Russia and Qatar respectively.

“I expect those who can contribute to the cleaning up, to do so,” said Germany’s Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere.

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From Messi to Mexes - 10 goals up for the FIFA Puskas Award 2015

Sport360 staff 23:01 10/11/2015
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Some of the Puskas Award nominees.

Another year, and another ten nominess for the FIFA Puskas Award. Choosing "the most beautiful goal" of the season can be tricky, but it is a rather enjoyable task to do.

Last year's Puskas Award winner was James Rodriguez who scored an incredible volley for Colombia in the 2014 World Cup against Uruguay.

This year's nominees are:

DAVID BALL

Fleetwood Town v Preston North End, League One, March 29 2015

GONZALO CASTRO
Real Sociedad v Deportivo de la Coruna, La Liga, April 12 2015

ALESSANDRO FLORENZI
AS Roma v FC Barcelona, Champions League, September 16 2015

WENDELL LIRA
Atletico-GO v Goianesia, Brazlian Goiano, March 11 2015

CARLI LLOYD
USA v Japan, FIFA Women's World Cup, July 5 2015

LIONEL MESSI
Athletic Bilbao v FC Barcelona, Copa del Rey, May 30 2015

PHILIPPE MEXES
AC Milan v Inter Milan, Pre-season friendly, July 25 2015

MARCEL NDJENG
Paderborn v Bolton Wanderers, Pre-season friendly, July 13 2015

ESTEBAN RAMIREZ
Herediano v Deportivo Saprissa, Costa Rican Primera Division Invierno, November 2 2014

CARLOS TEVEZ
Juventus v Parma, Italian Serie A, November 9 2014

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New Football Observatory study unveils crisis of youth training in Europe

Sport360 staff 21:37 10/11/2015
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Homegrown talents need to be focused on more.

The latest Monthly Report of the CIES Football Observatory analyses the presence of club-trained players in 460 teams of 31 top division leagues in UEFA member associations.

The study notably shows that the percentage of home-grown footballers in squads has decreased for the sixth consecutive season to reach a new record low.

Following UEFA’s definition, club-trained players are footballers who have been for at least three seasons between the ages of 15 and 21 in their employer team.

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The relative presence of this category of players in squads has steadily decreased from 23.1% in 2009 to only 19.7% in 2015. Club-trained footballers still accounted for more than one fifth of squad members in 2014: 21.0%.

This finding reflects the lesser tendency of European top division clubs to give their chance to players from their youth academy.

As a consequence, the average age of footballers in the 31 top division leagues surveyed has reached a new record high: 26.0 years. The decrease in the proportion of club-trained players also reflects the greater mobility of footballers from their youngest age.

The Report also presents the rankings of clubs who trained the most players active in the leagues surveyed. At the top of the overall table is Partizan Belgrade (78 players trained), followed by Ajax Amsterdam (75 players).

FC Barcelona heads the ranking of clubs who trained the most players under contract with big-5 league teams (44 players), ahead of Olympique Lyonnais (35 players) and Real Madrid (34 players). All data is available in issue number 125 of the Big-5 Weekly Post.

Last but not least, the CIES Football Observatory is pleased to unveil a brand new version of its exclusive Digital Atlas on the demography of footballers in Europe.

This unique tool presents a wide array of indicators allowing users to grasp the latest trends in the European football players’ labour market. The next Monthly Reports will further develop some of the exclusive information presented in the Digital Atlas.

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