The German government sent Saudi Arabia a shipment of rocket-propelled grenades (RPG) to persuade the kingdom to support Germany’s bid to host 2006 World Cup, German media say.
German newspaper Die Zeit reported on Thursday that then German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder authorized the shipment a week before the vote in 2000 to swing the Saudi vote from Morocco to Germany, with the arrangement made by the German Football Association, The Daily Mail reported on Friday.
The arm shipment, allegedly, helped Germany narrowly defeat South Africa 12-11 in the final round to host the 2006 World Cup.
The RPGs have been part of a planned effort made by politicians and business leaders of Germany to convince FIFA’s executive committee members to vote in their favor, Die Zeit further added.
The report published in the wake of confessions made by Chuck Blazer, a former member of the FIFA Executive Committee, who admitted, on Wednesday, that he received bribes to vote for South Africa as the host of the 2010 World Cup.
Earlier, a scandal involving some senior FIFA officials made public. The corruption case captured headlines on May 28, when Swiss authorities launched a raid on a gathering of senior FIFA members in Zurich, arresting seven of them.
The Swiss government said the raid was part of a probe led by the United States into corruption allegations against the FIFA officials.
A separate probe has been launched in Switzerland into the granting of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup events to Russia and Qatar, respectively.
In a Tuesday press conference at FIFA’s headquarters in the Swiss city of Zurich, FIFA President Sepp Blatter announced his intention to step down as the head of the world’s governing body of football.