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Domestic disputes hurting World Cup
Updated: 2005-02-16 08:57

Germany's domestic problems are getting in the way of preparations for the 2006 World Cup, organising committee president Franz Beckenbauer has warned.

The long search for a replacement for coach Rudi Voeller, a messy compromise deal over the presidency of the German Football Association (DFB) and the current match-fixing scandal have all diverted attention away from World Cup organisation.

In the wake of the Robert Hoyzer refereeing scandal the German Football Federation have made an official request for FIFA, football's governing body, to start using television coverage to analyse referees. [AFP]
"Since June the work has been at a standstill while we've had to put out one fire after another," Beckenbauer said at the Berlin Film Festival.

The DFB is being jointly run until the World Cup is over by the outgoing Gerhard Mayer-Vorfelder and the incoming Theo Zwanziger.

Beckenbauer, the man in charge of ensuring a successful tournament next year, was critical of that set-up.

"The co-presidency was decided on in good faith but it cannot work," Beckenbauer said. "Too much effort is being wasted on side issues.

"But we have to live with this compromise. We've taken the responsibility and we have to see it through."

Many senior members of the World Cup organising committee hold posts at the DFB, which is desperately trying to clear up the mess of the Robert Hoyzer match-fixing scandal.

The long-running saga took a new turn on Saturday when Hoyzer was arrested after prosecutors said there was evidence his involvement in match-fixing may have begun before 2004.

Beckenbauer said the case was doing damage to German football's image in the build-up to the World Cup.

"Every sports newspaper in the world is writing about this," Beckenbauer said. "Naturally, that is creating a negative image."

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