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Franz Beckenbauer

Germans think Beckenbauer should ditch ‘Kaiser’ nickname


Berlin (AFP) – A majority of Germans believe football legend Franz Beckenbauer no longer deserves the nickname ‘Kaiser Franz’, given the latest revelations concerning his role in organising the scandal-hit 2006 World Cup.

According to a poll published Wednesday on the website of German magazine Stern, 55 percent of those surveyed believe the nickname ‘Kaiser’ is no longer justified.

Last week, weekly magazine Der Spiegel said the 71-year-old  pocketed more than five million euros ($5.6 million) as head of the organising committee for the 2006 World Cup in Germany, which he failed to pay tax on.

The payment was reportedly taken from a donation of 12 million euros made by a World Cup sponsor, the gambling company Oddset.

Beckenbauer’s attorneys rejected the claim, saying the earning arose from his advertising work and was “promptly taxed at his Austrian residence”. 

But despite those revelations, 35 percent of those quizzed by Stern said Beckenbauer still deserves the ‘Kaiser Franz’ moniker.

The German media first used the nickname in the late 1960s before Beckenbauer captained West Germany to the 1974 World Cup title and managed the team which won Italia 1990.

Beckenbauer is currently under investigation by Swiss authorities in relation to corruption allegations over the awarding of the 2006 World Cup to Germany.

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