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Beckenbauer: FIFA payment a mistake

Franz Beckenbauer has described a payment sent to FIFA while he was head of Germany's 2006 World Cup organising committee as a mistake, but rejected claims it was made to buy votes.

Beckenbauer – who won the World Cup as a player and coach with West Germany – had an investigation launched against him by FIFA's Ethics Committee last week.

The 70-year-old admitted a payment had been made by the organising committee during the bidding process for the 2006 competition, but insisted it was in return for a financial grant.

After a hearing with the German Football Association (DFB) Beckenbauer released the following statement:

"Today there was [a] hearing in Munich, when I have answered all questions from the [DFB] commission.

"It is important for me to clarify the following:  There were no votes bought in order to get the nod for the 2006 World Cup.

"[And] in order to get a subsidy from FIFA [for the organization 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-organizing committee, bear the responsibility of this mistake."