Legal Action Over Hoax World Cup Bribe Letters
World Cup 2006 - Germany
DFB and FIFA to consider taking legal action against Titanic
The German Football Association (DFB) and the world´s football governing body, FIFA, are considering taking legal action against the representatives of the German satirical magazine "Titanic" whose falsified letters sent to the members of the FIFA Executive Committee had given rise to suspicions about attempts made by the DFB to bribe the committee members.
"On the one hand, we are of course relieved to see that any such allegations have been based on nothing but a bad hoax. On the other hand, we feel that this ´joke´ has gone beyond what is decent and permissible as the reputation of DFB, FIFA and of others involved in the voting process has suffered serious damage. We will now sit down together with FIFA and discuss the way ahead", said DFB General Secretary Horst R. Schmidt at the association´s offices in Frankfurt.
The "Titanic" magazine had slipped letters drafted by a fictitious bid support committee under the hotel room doors of several FIFA Executive Committee members. The letters were signed "Martin Hansen, secretary of the 2006 World Cup initiative" who also promised "gifts" in return for a vote for Germany, claiming he was close to Franz Beckenbauer.