German FA Hit With €19.2M Back-Tax Payment Over 2006 World Cup
The German FA (DFB) must pay €19.2M ($22.6M) in back taxes "related to a controversial payment" for the 2006 World Cup but it will "challenge the Frankfurt tax office's decision," it said, according to Karolos Grohmann of REUTERS. The tax office said that the payment of €6.7M from the DFB to FIFA in '05 had "not been declared properly" and the association now owed €19.2M. That payment "triggered several investigations in the past two years over allegations it had been used as a slush fund to buy votes" in favor of Germany’s bid to host the '06 tournament. The DFB said, "The tax authority is questioning the tax deductibility of the payment and the non-profit character of the DFB for the year 2006." Officially, at the time the payment was made, "it had been for an opening ceremony." But "such a ceremony never took place" and a DFB-commissioned investigation last year said that the sum was the return of a loan via FIFA from former adidas CEO Robert Louis-Dreyfus (REUTERS, 10/20).