Football: Fifa must now be more open, says Germany's Angela Merkel

Merkel (above) said those guilty of corruption in sport ruin the efforts of those who act fairly.
Merkel (above) said those guilty of corruption in sport ruin the efforts of those who act fairly.PHOTO: EPA

BERLIN (AFP) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she hopes football's senior figures, including world football's governing body Fifa, will demonstrate the transparency they have pledged in the wake of recent scandals.

"I hope that the world of football, and also Fifa, really enters into transparency," Germany's leader said in her podcast published on Saturday.

"Sport is inextricably linked to fairness.

"If the relevant organisations do not reflect that, then it will ultimately lead to disappointment and will also harm sport overall."

Merkel said those guilty of corruption in sport ruin the efforts of the numerous athletes, coaches and administrators who act fairly.

"So officials have a very big responsibility," she added.

Her comments were aimed at both the German FA (DFB) and Fifa.

Merkel was speaking a day after an independent inquiry said it could not rule out that Germany bought votes to secure the 2006 World Cup.

The investigation commissioned by the DFB said that some paper documents were missing, electronic files were password-protected, and some key witnesses refused to cooperate.

World body Fifa separately complained that its investigation into the 2006 World Cup had been "hampered" by key witnesses who refused to give evidence.

The German inquiry outlined a money trail linking Franz Beckenbauer, who led the 2006 World Cup's organising committee, to Qatar's Mohammed bin Hammam, who has since been banned from football for life over corruption claims.

Beckenbauer was warned and fined by Fifa last month for his failure to cooperate with a separate investigation into the award of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Fifa has welcomed the report, but said "many questions still remain to be answered".