German prosecutors consider whether to probe 2006 World Cup

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) German prosecutors are examining whether there are grounds to open an investigation into allegations that German bidders used a slush fund to help secure the 2006 World Cup.

Nadja Niesen, a spokeswoman for Frankfurt prosecutors, said fraud, breach of trust or corruption were possible offenses that might be investigated, news agency dpa reported Monday. Niesen couldn’t say when the examination of whether there is a case will be concluded.

German weekly Der Spiegel reported Friday that a slush fund of 10.3 million Swiss francs (about $6 million at that time) was set up to buy the votes of four Asian representatives on the FIFA executive committee.

The German soccer federation has rejected the allegations. Bid committee leader Franz Beckenbauer says he never had money given to anyone to buy votes.

Federation president Wolfgang Niersbach, who was also a senior member of the Germany bid committee, renewed his denial on Monday.

”There were no slush funds,” he said. ”There was no vote-buying.

”We conducted the bid with honest means, and ultimately decided (the contest) with honest means for us, for Germany, for German football on July 6, 2000 in Zurich,” Niersbach said at an event at the German Football Museum in Dortmund.