'If I trust someone, I'll sign anything' - Beckenbauer responds to World Cup scandal


Franz Beckenbauer says he was unaware of any impropriety during the World Cup bidding process, claiming "if I trust someone, I'll sign anything".

Acting German Football Association (DFB) chief Rainer Koch accused the former West Germany captain of agreeing a deal with disgraced former CONCACAF president Jack Warner, in which "various services" were allegedly promised in return for support in Germany's World Cup bid.

Beckenbauer has denied that any such formal agreement was put in place during meetings intended to drum up some public support for their 2006 bid, though he went on to claim he has rarely given official contracts proper scrutiny in previous business dealings. 

"The accusation is false - after all, we had no money," he said to Suddeutsche Zeitung. "It is clear, when we went somewhere ahead of the awarding [of the right to host the World Cup], to Trinidad or elsewhere, then it was clear we were not there to drink coffee, but also because we wanted to have a voice. We pointed to the value of our candidature.

"I always signed blindly, if they needed my signature. Ask Karl Hopfner about the 15 years in which I was president of FC Bayern [Munich]. He was responsible for the operational business."

He added: "You can't believe that I read a single agreement or a single document. You don't believe it, but it is like this! If I trust someone , I'll sign anything."

FIFA launched an investigation late last month after allegations emerged that Beckenbauer, as head of Germany's 2006 bidding committee, was aware of the setting up of a slush fund to buy votes for the tournament.

Further reports claimed Beckenbauer helped to negotiate a friendly match between Malta and Bayern shortly before the votes were cast for the tournament.

The 70-year-old has denied any wrongdoing.