Germany reportedly sent Saudia Arabia a shipment of rocket-propelled grenades in exchange for support of their bid to host the 2006 World Cup, it has emerged.
The allegations are the latest revelations in the widening Fifa scandal, which was sparked by the arrests of seven top Fifa officials in Zurich, Switzerland, as part of a US-led investigation.
Sepp Blatter, who has been Fifa president since 1998, stepped down in the wake of the scandal just days after he was re-elected to serve his fifth term.
According to reports by the Die Zeit newspaper seen by MailOnline, then-Chancellor Gerhard Schroder’s government allegedly complied with a request from the German Football Association to send Saudi Arabia arms, in an attempt to steer the Middle Eastern nation away from backing Morocco in the knife-edge vote in 2000.
The Die Zeit report also claims that German firms, including Volkswagen and Bayer, pledged to up their investments in Thailand and South Korea, with Daimler investing 100m euros (£73m) in South Korean firm Hyundai.
Fifa’s corruption scandal deepened further last night, when it emerged that the international football governing body had paid the Irish Football Association (FAI) €5million to silence complaints about Thierry Henry’s handball. The footballing legend's move was widely regarded as the reason why the country missed out on qualifying for the 2010 World Cup.
The beleaguered football governing body disclosed the payment after John Delaney, the head of the FAI, revealed the agreement between himself and outgoing President Sepp Blatter in an interview with Irish broadcaster RTE.
German soccer federation president Wolfgang Niersbach responded to the payment to Ireland, and told ZDF television on Friday that the handball “was a real injustice” and accepted the Irish were “outraged.”
But Niersbach said “you cannot compensate it with money and no court would have ruled in their favor.”
Additional reporting by AP
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