Statement by OC President Franz Beckenbauer
Following his return from a trip abroad, 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany Organising Committee President Franz Beckenbauer has issued the following statement regarding the current match-fixing affair:
"Naturally, and in common with all football fans, I am shocked at these scandalous incidents. Like most others I never believed it possible here. The whole sorry episode must be completely resolved by the judiciary and the DFB as swiftly as possible. I am confident the procedures now being followed will achieve this goal.
I cannot and will not pre-empt the relevant authorities, but I am personally of the opinion that persons proved guilty of manipulating results should be subject to the maximum possible penalties. Referees proven to have deliberately made false decisions, thus defrauding the game of football and its fans, should never be licensed again. This is the only way to prevent further damage to German football both at home and abroad.
Our FIFA World Cup must and will retain its positive image. Here at the Organising Committee we have entered the home straight. The Confederations Cup is metaphorically knocking at the door. Our entire focus needs to remain directed at optimising preparations for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, both in terms of organisation and atmosphere. In this respect I am delighted tickets sales have begun so promisingly, with no technical issues despite the enormous levels of interest."