Kaiser repeats threat to quit


BERLIN: Franz Beckenbauer has repeated his threat to step down as president of Germany’s 2006 World Cup organising committee after FIFA agreed in principle at the weekend to add four teams to the next Finals. 

The former World Cup-winning captain and coach also threatened to quit last week, criticising world football’s governing body for being interested chiefly in making money. 

FRANZ BECKENBAUER: The German blasted FIFA for being interested chiefly in making money.

“It doesn’t make any fun that way,” Beckenbauer told Monday’s Bild daily. “I don’t want to take blows for decisions I’m not responsible off. I’d rather be out of it.” 

FIFA’s executive committee agreed on Saturday to expand the World Cup to 36 teams but Sepp Blatter, president of the ruling body, said the new format would have to be ratified at a final meeting in June in Paris. 

Beckenbauer, who had said beforehand that he would rather stick to the current format of 32 teams, said a World Cup with 36 teams would be feasible but added he feared teams might then make arrangements for a suitable result for both sides. 

“With 36 teams we have to play with nine groups, which means only seven second-placed teams go through,” he said. “It will not be possible to stage all the final group games at the same time. Some teams will have to wait for a week before knowing whether they are qualified. Others could play to get the result they need.” 

Beckenbauer had said last week that he might quit over arguments with FIFA in the build-up to the event. The former Bayern Munich and Germany libero accused the governing body of wanting to set unreasonably high ticket and hotel prices for VIP packages. – Reuters 

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