Former World Cup winning captain and coach Franz Beckenbauer has said he had made a mistake in the bidding process to stage the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
He, however, insisted that no votes were bought. The 70-year-old, who headed the organising committee which reportedly paid money to FIFA in return for a financial grant, said that he took "responsibility for this mistake".
"In order to get a subsidy from FIFA (for the organisation of the 2006 World Cup) those involved went ahead with a proposal from the FIFA finance commission that in today's eyes should have been rejected," the German legend was quoted as saying by the BBC on Monday.
"I, as president of the then organising committee bear the responsibility of this mistake."
German magazine Der Spiegel had reported on October 16 that an alleged slush fund of 6.7 million euros (4.8m pounds) was used to buy votes for Germany -- an allegation which was later denied by the German Football Association (DFB).
Beckenbauer had denied the allegations in a statement on October 18, insisting that he did not give "money to anyone in order to buy votes".
Beckenbauer led West Germany to World Cup glory as hosts at the 1974 World Cup, and was then coached the side which lifted the trophy 16 years later in Italy.