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Kaiser’s quit-threat to Fifa

Berlin: Franz Beckenbauer has threatened to step down as president of Germany’s 2006 World Cup organising committee over arguments with Fifa in the build-up to the event.

Beckenbauer accused soccer’s world ruling body of being interested chiefly in making money from ticketing and hospitality. “I fear that it might come down to a major confrontation with the Fifa,” the former World Cup-winning captain and coach told Friday’s issue of football magazine Kicker.

“Fifa’s main goal is to make money and all the rest is secondary,” said Beckenbauer, who accused Fifa of wanting to set unreasonably high ticket and hotel prices for packages for VIPs.

“We do not want to be held responsible for what we have no influence on,” he said. “We will not let that happen. I will not. I would rather quit. I would make my position available. This is a warning to Zurich (where Fifa is based).”

The 2006 World Cup will top the agenda at a Fifa executive committee meeting Saturday, which will rule on a proposal by South American federation CONMEBOL to add four teams to the next tournament. Both Fifa president Sepp Blatter and Beckenbauer have said they would rather stick to the current format of 32 teams.

The German organising committee came under scrutiny last month with a newspaper report that Bayern Munich had tried to influence the 2006 World Cup vote by striking deals with smaller national federations.

Beckenbauer denied the allegations that Bayern had played friendlies in exotic locations, with lucrative television deals for the hosts.

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