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2006 FIFA World Cup

The 2006 FIFA World Cup was the 18th FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international football world championship tournament. It was held from 9 June to 9 July 2006 in Germany, which won the right to host the event in July 2000. Teams representing 198 national football associations from all six populated continents participated in the qualification process which began in September 2003. Thirty-one teams qualified from this process, along with the host nation, for the finals tournament, it was the second time that Germany staged the competition, the first as a unified country, the tenth time that it was held in Europe. Italy won the tournament, they defeated France 5–3 in a penalty shoot-out in the final, after extra time had finished in a 1–1 draw. Germany defeated Portugal 3–1 to finish in third place. Angola, Ivory Coast and Tobago, Togo made their first appearances in the finals, it was the only appearance of Serbia and Montenegro under that name. In late May 2006 prior to the tournament, Montenegro voted in a referendum to become an independent nation and dissolve the loose confederacy existing between it and Serbia, with Serbia recognizing the results of the referendum in early June.

Due to time constraints, FIFA had Serbia and Montenegro play in the World Cup tournament as one team, marking the first instance of multiple sovereign nations competing as one team in a major football tournament since UEFA Euro 1992. The 2006 World Cup stands as one of the most watched events in television history, garnering an estimated 26.29 billion times viewed, compiled over the course of the tournament. The final attracted an estimated audience of 715.1 million people. The vote to choose the hosts of the 2006 tournament was held in July 2000 in Switzerland, it involved four bidding nations after Brazil had withdrawn three days earlier: Germany, South Africa and Morocco. Three rounds of voting were required, each round eliminating the nation with the fewest votes; the first two rounds were held on 6 July 2000, the final round was held on 7 July 2000, which Germany won over South Africa. Accusations of bribery and corruption had marred the success of Germany's bid from the beginning. On the day of the vote, a hoax bribery affair was made public, leading to calls for a re-vote.

On the night before the vote, German satirical magazine Titanic sent letters to FIFA representatives, offering joke gifts like cuckoo clocks and Black Forest ham in exchange for their vote for Germany. Oceania delegate Charlie Dempsey, who had backed England, had been instructed to support South Africa following England's elimination, he abstained. Had Dempsey voted as instructed, the vote would have resulted with a 12–12 tie, FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who favoured the South African bid, would have had to cast the deciding vote. More irregularities surfaced soon after, including, in the months leading up to the decision, the sudden interest of German politicians and major businesses in the four Asian countries whose delegates were decisive for the vote. Just a week before the vote, the German government under Chancellor Gerhard Schröder lifted their arms embargo on Saudi Arabia and agreed to send grenade launchers to the country. DaimlerChrysler invested several hundred million Euro in Hyundai, while one of the sons of the company's founders was a member of FIFA's executive committee.

Both Volkswagen and Bayer announced investments in Thailand and South Korea, whose respective delegates Worawi Makudi and Chung Jong-Moon were possible voters for Germany. Makudi additionally received a payment by a company of German media mogul Leo Kirch, who paid millions for worthless TV rights for friendly matches of the German team and FC Bayern Munich. On 16 October 2015, the German news magazine Der Spiegel alleged that a slush fund with money from then-Adidas CEO Robert Louis-Dreyfus was used to influence the vote of four Asian members of the FIFA executive committee; the sum of 6.7 million Euro was demanded back by Dreyfus. In order to retrieve the money, the Organizing Committee paid an equivalent sum to the FIFA as a German share for the cost of a closing ceremony, which never materialized. Wolfgang Niersbach, president of the German Football Association, denied the allegations on 17 October 2015, saying that "the World Cup was not bought" and that he could "absolutely and categorically rule out the existence of a slush fund".

The DFB announced. During a press conference on 22 October 2015, Nierbach repeated his stance, emphasizing that the 6,7 million were used in 2002 to secure a subsidy by FIFA. According to Niersbach, the payment had been agreed upon during a meeting between Franz Beckenbauer and FIFA president Blatter, with the money being provided by Dreyfus. On the same day, FIFA contradicted Niersbach's statement, saying: "By our current state of knowledge, no such payment of 10 million Franks was registered by FIFA in 2002." The following day, former DFB president Theo Zwanziger publicly accused Niersbach of lying, saying: "It is evident that there was a slush fund for the German World Cup application". According to Zwanziger, the 6.7 million Euros went to Mohamed Bin Hammam, who at the time was supporting Blatter's campaign for president against Issa Hayatou. On 22 March 2016 it was announced that the FIFA Ethics Committee was opening proceedings into the bid. 198 teams attempted to qualify for the 2006 World Cup.

Germany, the host nation, was granted automatic qualification, with the remaining 31 finals places divided among the

Nica Burns

Lounica Maureen Patricia "Nica" Burns OBE is a London theatre producer and co-owner with her business partner Max Weitzenhoffer of the Nimax Theatres group, comprising six West End theatres: the Palace, Apollo, Garrick and Duchess. Nica Burns was born in August 1954, grew up in Ealing, London, she was educated at Haberdashers' Aske's School for Girls. In 1973, she went to University College London to read for a Law degree. Following an early career in acting, Burns moved to directing and producing, co-writing and performing in H. E. Bates' Dulcima at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, she has been producer of the Edinburgh Comedy Awards from 1984 to the present day. She was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to theatre. At the 2013 Private Business Awards, Burns was awarded Private Businesswoman of the Year; the Apollo was the centre of a news story on 19 December 2013, when portions of the ceiling collapsed, landing on the audience. Burns is married to Australian-born finance lawyer Marc Hutchinson, a partner at Slaughter and May, chairman of the Heath and Hampstead Society since 2014.

They met. Nimax Theatres website

William Whitlock (politician)

William Charles Whitlock, sometimes known as Bill Whitlock, was a British Labour Party politician. Whitlock was educated at the University of Southampton, he volunteered for the British Army upon graduation, soon joined the Hampshires. Part of the British Expeditionary Force, he was one of those evacuated on the last day at Dunkirk, escaping aboard a fishing trawler. At the end of 1940, he volunteered for the Airborne forces. Assigned to the British 1st Airborne Division, he landed near Nijmegen during Operation Market Garden and was one of the few British airborne troops to escape death or capture during the operation. An excellent linguist, he remained in the Army for an extra year, acting as a German translator during the occupation, he was appointed as an area organiser of the Union of Shop and Allied Workers in 1946. In 1957, he became President of the Leicester City Labour Party. Whitlock was elected as the Member of Parliament for Nottingham North in 1959. Throughout his career, he was a champion of improved conditions for office workers.

A party whip from 1962, Whitlock was appointed Vice-Chamberlain of the Household in 1964, retained the office until 1966. He was briefly a Lord Commissioner of the Treasury before being appointed Comptroller of the Household. In 1967, he was again a Commissioner of the Treasury before being appointed Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations. At that office, he was responsible for African affairs, he advocated the admission of Asians expelled from Uganda into Britain. At the merger of the Foreign Office and Commonwealth Relations in 1968, he became Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. Sent in 1969 to negotiate with the fledgling government of Anguilla seceding from Saint Kitts and Nevis, he was unceremoniously expelled from the country at gunpoint; the incident ended his ministerial career. In 1983, he unexpectedly lost his seat to the Conservative Party candidate Richard Ottaway as part of Labour's national landslide defeat that year; the margin of defeat of 362 votes was less than the 1,184 votes gained by the Communist candidate John Peck.

Times Guide to the House of Commons, 1966 and 1983 The Almanac of British Politics 1999 Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by William Whitlock