Report: FBI investigating payment made before 2006 World Cup

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BERLIN (AP) German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung reports the FBI has opened a corruption investigation into the awarding of the 2006 World Cup to Germany.

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SZ says it has been told by “sources close to FIFA” that the FBI is concerned about a suspect payment made by the German football federation to FIFA before the tournament was awarded.

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The DFB said the money was a loan of 10 million Swiss francs – the equivalent of 6.7 million euros or $7.22 million – from then-Adidas boss Robert Louis-Dreyfus, to FIFA in 2002 to obtain a large grant for the World Cup organizing committee. It’s unclear who exactly received the money, however.

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The payment is also the target of a tax evasion investigation by German authorities and Swiss authorities.