Germany national football team
The Germany national football team is the men's football team that has represented Germany in international competition since 1908. It is governed by the German Football Association, founded in 1900. Since the DFB was reinaugurated in 1949 the team has represented the Federal Republic of Germany. Under Allied occupation and division, two other separate national teams were recognised by FIFA: the Saarland team representing the Saarland and the East German team representing the German Democratic Republic. Both have been absorbed along with their records by the current national team; the official name and code "Germany FR" was shortened to "Germany" following the reunification in 1990. Germany is one of the most successful national teams in international competitions, having won four World Cups, three European Championships, one Confederations Cup, they have been runners-up three times in the European Championships, four times in the World Cup, a further four third-place finishes at World Cups. East Germany won Olympic Gold in 1976.
Germany is the only nation to have won both the FIFA Women's World Cup. At the end of the 2014 World Cup, Germany earned the highest Elo rating of any national football team in history, with a record 2205 points. Germany is the only European nation that has won a FIFA World Cup in the Americas; the manager of the national team is Joachim Löw. Between 1899 and 1901, prior to the formation of a national team, there were five unofficial international matches between German and English selection teams, which all ended as large defeats for the German teams. Eight years after the establishment of the German Football Association, the first official match of the Germany national football team was played on 5 April 1908, against Switzerland in Basel, with the Swiss winning 5–3. Gottfried Fuchs scored a world record 10 goals for Germany in a 16–0 win against Russia at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm on 1 July, becoming the top scorer of the tournament, he was Jewish, the German Football Association erased all references to him from their records between 1933 and 1945.
As of 2016, he was still the top German scorer for one match. The first match after World War I in 1920, the first match after World War II in 1950 when Germany was still banned from most international competitions, the first match in 1990 with former East German players were all against Switzerland as well. Germany's first championship title was won in Switzerland in 1954. At that time the players were selected by the DFB; the first manager of the Germany national team was Otto Nerz, a school teacher from Mannheim, who served in the role from 1926 to 1936. The German FA could not afford travel to Uruguay for the first World Cup staged in 1930 during the Great Depression, but finished third in the 1934 World Cup in their first appearance in the competition. After a poor showing at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, Sepp Herberger became coach. In 1937 he put together a squad, soon nicknamed the Breslau Elf in recognition of their 8–0 win over Denmark in the German city of Breslau, Lower Silesia.
After Austria became part of Germany in the Anschluss of March 1938, that country's national team – one of Europe's best sides at the time due to professionalism – was disbanded despite having qualified for the 1938 World Cup. Nazi politicians ordered five or six ex-Austrian players, from the clubs Rapid Vienna, Austria Vienna, First Vienna FC, to join the all-German team on short notice in a staged show of unity for political reasons. In the 1938 World Cup that began on 4 June, this "united" German team managed only a 1–1 draw against Switzerland and lost the replay 2–4 in front of a hostile crowd in Paris, France; that early exit stands as Germany's worst World Cup result, one of just two occasions the team failed to progress the group stage. During World War II, the team played over 30 international games between September 1939 and November 1942. National team games were suspended, as most players had to join the armed forces. Many of the national team players were gathered together under coach Herberger as Rote Jäger through the efforts of a sympathetic air force officer trying to protect the footballers from the most dangerous wartime service.
After World War II, Germany was banned from competition in most sports until 1950. The DFB was not a full member of FIFA, none of the three new German states — West Germany, East Germany, Saarland — entered the 1950 World Cup qualifiers; the Federal Republic of Germany, referred to as West Germany, continued the DFB. With recognition by FIFA and UEFA, the DFB continued the record of the pre-war team. Switzerland was once again the first team that played West Germany in 1950. West Germany qualified for the 1954 World Cup; the Saarland, under French control between 1947 and 1956, did not join French organisations, was barred from participating in pan-German ones. It sent their own team to the 1954 World Cup qualifiers. In 1957, Saarland acceded to the Federal Republic of Germany. In 1949, the communist German Democratic Republic was founded. In 1952 the Deutscher Fußball-Verband der DDR was established and the East Germany national football team took to the field, they were the only team to beat the 1974 FIFA World Cup winning West Germans in the onl
Muhammad Ali was an American professional boxer and philanthropist. He is nicknamed "The Greatest" and is regarded as one of the most significant and celebrated sports figures of the 20th century and as one of the greatest boxers of all time. Ali was born and raised in Louisville and began training as an amateur boxer at age 12. At 18, he won a gold medal in the light heavyweight division at the 1960 Summer Olympics, turned professional that year, he converted to Islam after 1961, took the name Muhammad Ali. He won the world heavyweight championship from Sonny Liston in a major upset at age 22 in 1964. In 1966, Ali refused to be drafted into the military, citing his religious beliefs and opposition to the Vietnam War, he was arrested, found guilty of draft evasion, stripped of his boxing titles. He appealed the decision to the Supreme Court, which overturned his conviction in 1971, but he had not fought for nearly four years and lost a period of peak performance as an athlete, his actions as a conscientious objector to the war made him an icon for the larger counterculture generation, he was a high-profile figure of racial pride for African Americans during the civil rights movement.
Ali was a leading heavyweight boxer of the 20th century, he remains the only three-time lineal champion of that division. His joint records of beating 21 boxers for the world heavyweight title and winning 14 unified title bouts stood for 35 years. Ali is the only boxer to be named The Ring magazine Fighter of the Year six times, he has been ranked the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time, as the greatest athlete of the 20th century by Sports Illustrated, the Sports Personality of the Century by the BBC, the third greatest athlete of the 20th century by ESPN SportsCentury. He was involved in several historic boxing feuds. Ali thrived in the spotlight at a time when many fighters let their managers do the talking, he was provocative and outlandish, he was known for trash-talking, free-styled with rhyme schemes and spoken word poetry, anticipating elements of rap and hip hop music. Outside the ring, Ali attained success as a musician, he featured as an actor and writer, releasing two autobiographies.
Ali focused on religion and charity. In 1984, he made public his diagnosis of Parkinson's syndrome, which some reports attribute to boxing-related injuries, though he and his specialist physicians disputed this, he remained an active public figure globally, but in his latter years made limited public appearances as his condition worsened, he was cared for by his family until his death on June 3, 2016. Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. was born on January 1942, in Louisville, Kentucky. He had four brothers, he was named for his father, Cassius Marcellus Clay Sr. who himself was named in honor of the 19th-century Republican politician and staunch abolitionist, Cassius Marcellus Clay from the state of Kentucky. Clay's father's paternal grandparents were Sallie Anne Clay, he was a descendant of slaves of the antebellum South, was predominantly of African descent, with smaller amounts of Irish and English heritage. DNA testing performed in 2018 showed that, through his paternal grandmother, Ali was a descendant of the heroic former slave Archer Alexander, chosen from the building crew as the model of a freed man for the Emancipation Memorial, was the subject of abolitionist William Greenleaf Eliot's book, The Story of Archer Alexander: From Slavery to Freedom.
Like Ali, Alexander fought for his freedom. His father was a sign and billboard painter, his mother, Odessa O'Grady Clay, was a domestic helper. Although Cassius Sr. was a Methodist, he allowed Odessa to bring up both Cassius Jr. and his younger brother, Rudolph "Rudy" Clay, as Baptists. Cassius Jr. attended Central High School in Louisville. He was dyslexic, which led to difficulties in reading and writing, at school and for much of his life. Ali grew up amid racial segregation, his mother recalled one occasion when he was denied a drink of water at a store—"They wouldn't give him one because of his color. That affected him." He was affected by the 1955 murder of Emmett Till, which led to young Clay and a friend taking out their frustration by vandalizing a local rail yard. Ali was first directed toward boxing by Louisville police officer and boxing coach Joe E. Martin, who encountered the 12-year-old fuming over a thief's having taken his bicycle, he told the officer. The officer told Clay. Clay did not take up Martin's offer, but after seeing amateur boxers on a local television boxing program called Tomorrow's Champions, Clay was interested in the prospect of fighting.
He began to work with trainer Fred Stoner, whom he credits with giving him the "real training" moulding "my style, my stamina and my system." For the last four years of Clay's amateur career he was trained by boxing cutman Chuck Bodak. Clay made his amateur boxing debut in 1954 against local amateur boxer Ronnie O'Keefe, he won by split decision. He went on to win six Kentucky Golden Gloves titles, two national Golden Gloves titles, an Amateur Athletic Union national title, the Light Heavyweight gold medal in the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. Clay's amateur record was 100 wins with five losses. Ali said in his 1975 autobiography that shortly after his return from the Rome Olympics, he threw his gold medal into the Ohio River after he and a friend we
Ice hockey is a contact team sport played on ice in a rink, in which two teams of skaters use their sticks to shoot a vulcanized rubber puck into their opponent's net to score points. The sport is known to be fast-paced and physical, with teams consisting of six players each: one goaltender, five players who skate up and down the ice trying to take the puck and score a goal against the opposing team. Ice hockey is most popular in Canada and eastern Europe, the Nordic countries and the United States. Ice hockey is the official national winter sport of Canada. In addition, ice hockey is the most popular winter sport in Belarus, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Slovakia and Switzerland. North America's National Hockey League is the highest level for men's ice hockey and the strongest professional ice hockey league in the world; the Kontinental Hockey League is much of Eastern Europe. The International Ice Hockey Federation is the formal governing body for international ice hockey, with the IIHF managing international tournaments and maintaining the IIHF World Ranking.
Worldwide, there are ice hockey federations in 76 countries. In Canada, the United States, Nordic countries, some other European countries the sport is known as hockey. Ice hockey is believed to have evolved from simple stick and ball games played in the 18th and 19th century United Kingdom and elsewhere; these games were brought to North America and several similar winter games using informal rules as they were developed, such as "shinny" and "ice polo". The contemporary sport of ice hockey was developed in Canada, most notably in Montreal, where the first indoor hockey game was played on March 3, 1875; some characteristics of that game, such as the length of the ice rink and the use of a puck, have been retained to this day. Amateur ice hockey leagues began in the 1880s, professional ice hockey originated around 1900; the Stanley Cup, emblematic of ice hockey club supremacy, was first awarded in 1893 to recognize the Canadian amateur champion and became the championship trophy of the NHL. In the early 1900s, the Canadian rules were adopted by the Ligue Internationale de Hockey sur Glace, the precursor of the IIHF and the sport was played for the first time at the Olympics during the 1920 Summer Olympics.
In international competitions, the national teams of six countries predominate: Canada, Czech Republic, Russia and the United States. Of the 69 medals awarded all-time in men's competition at the Olympics, only seven medals were not awarded to one of those countries. In the annual Ice Hockey World Championships, 177 of 201 medals have been awarded to the six nations. Teams outside the "Big Six" have won only five medals in either competition since 1953; the World Cup of Hockey is organized by the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players' Association, unlike the annual World Championships and quadrennial Olympic tournament, both run by the International Ice Hockey Federation. World Cup games are played under NHL rules and not those of the IIHF, the tournament occurs prior to the NHL pre-season, allowing for all NHL players to be available, unlike the World Championships, which overlaps with the NHL's Stanley Cup playoffs. Furthermore, all 12 Women's Olympic and 36 IIHF World Women's Championships medals were awarded to one of these six countries.
The Canadian national team or the United States national team have between them won every gold medal of either series. In England, field hockey has been called "hockey" and what was referenced by first appearances in print; the first known mention spelled as "hockey" occurred in the 1773 book Juvenile Sports and Pastimes, to Which Are Prefixed, Memoirs of the Author: Including a New Mode of Infant Education, by Richard Johnson, whose chapter XI was titled "New Improvements on the Game of Hockey". The 1573 Statute of Galway banned a sport called "'hokie'—the hurling of a little ball with sticks or staves". A form of this word was thus being used in the 16th century, though much removed from its current usage; the belief that hockey was mentioned in a 1363 proclamation by King Edward III of England is based on modern translations of the proclamation, in Latin and explicitly forbade the games "Pilam Manualem, Pedivam, & Bacularem: & ad Canibucam & Gallorum Pugnam". The English historian and biographer John Strype did not use the word "hockey" when he translated the proclamation in 1720, instead translating "Canibucam" as "Cambuck".
According to the Austin Hockey Association, the word "puck" derives from the Scottish Gaelic puc or the Irish poc. "... The blow given by a hurler to the ball with his camán or hurley is always called a puck." Stick-and-ball games date back to pre-Christian times. In Europe, these games included the Irish game of hurling, the related Scottish game of shinty and versions of field hockey. IJscolf, a game resembling colf on an ice-covered surface, was popular in the Low Countries between the Middle Ages and the Dutch Golden Age, it was played with a wooden curved bat, a wooden or leather ball and two poles, with t
UEFA Europa League
The UEFA Europa League is an annual football club competition organised by UEFA since 1971 for eligible European football clubs. Clubs qualify for the competition based on their performance in their national leagues and cup competitions, it is the second-tier competition of European club football, ranking below the UEFA Champions League. Called the UEFA Cup, the competition has been known as the UEFA Europa League since the 2009–10 season, following a change in format. For UEFA footballing records purposes, the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League are considered the same competition, with the change of name being a rebranding. In 1999, the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup was merged with the UEFA Cup. For the 2004–05 competition a group stage was added prior to the knockout phase; the 2009 re-branding included a merge with the UEFA Intertoto Cup, producing an enlarged competition format, with an expanded group stage and a change in qualifying criteria. The winner of the UEFA Europa League qualifies for the UEFA Super Cup and, since the 2014–15 season, the following season's UEFA Champions League, entering at the group stage.
The title has been won by 28 clubs. The most successful club in the competition is Sevilla, with five titles; the current champions are Atlético Madrid, after defeating Marseille in the final to win the 2017–18 UEFA Europa League. The UEFA Cup was preceded by the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, a European football competition played between 1955 and 1971; the competition grew from 11 teams during the first cup to 64 teams by the last cup, played in 1970–71. It had become so important on the European football scene that in the end it was taken over by UEFA and relaunched the following season as the UEFA Cup; the UEFA Cup was first played in the 1971–72 season, with an all-English final of Wolverhampton Wanderers against Tottenham Hotspur, with Spurs taking the first honours. The title was retained by another English club, Liverpool, in 1973, who defeated Borussia Mönchengladbach in the final. Borussia would win the competition in 1975 and 1979, reach the final again in 1980. Feyenoord Rotterdam won the cup in 1974 after defeating Tottenham Hotspur with 4-2 in aggregate.
Liverpool won the competition for the second time in 1976 after defeating Club Brugge in the final. During the 1980s, IFK Göteborg and Real Madrid won the competition twice each, with Anderlecht reaching two consecutive finals, winning in 1983 and losing to Tottenham Hotspur in 1984; the year 1989 saw the commencement of the Italian clubs' domination, when Diego Maradona's Napoli defeated Stuttgart. The 1990s started with two all-Italian finals, in 1992, Torino lost the final to Ajax on the away goals rule. Juventus won the competition for a third time in 1993 and Internazionale kept the cup in Italy the following year; the year 1995 saw a third all-Italian final, with Parma proving their consistency, after two consecutive Cup Winners' Cup finals. The only final with no Italians during that decade was in 1996. Internazionale reached the final the following two years, losing in 1997 to Schalke 04 on penalties, winning yet another all-Italian final in 1998, taking home the cup for the third time in only eight years.
Parma won the cup in 1999. Liverpool won the competition for the third time in 2001. In 2002 Feyenoord Rotterdam won it for the 2nd time in the club history by defeating Borussia Dortmund during the final in their own stadium, Stadion Feijenoord in Rotterdam with 3-2. Porto triumphed with the latter against Portuguese team Braga. In 2004, the cup returned to Spain with Valencia being victorious, Sevilla succeeded on two consecutive occasions in 2006 and 2007, the latter in a final against fellow Spaniards Espanyol. Either side of Sevilla's success, two Russian teams, CSKA Moscow in 2005 and Zenit Saint Petersburg in 2008, had their glory and yet another former Soviet club, Ukraine's Shakhtar Donetsk, won in 2009. Atlético Madrid would themselves win twice in three seasons, in 2010 and 2012, the latter in another all-Spanish final. In 2013, Chelsea would become the first Champions League holders to win the UEFA Cup/Europa League the following year. In 2014, Sevilla won their third cup in eight years after defeating Benfica on penalties.
Just one year in 2015, Sevilla won their fourth UEFA Cup/Europa League and, in an unprecedented feat, they defended their title a third year in a row beating Liverpool FC in the 2016 final, making Sevilla FC the most successful team in the history of the competition with 5 titles. Since the 2009–10 season, the competition has been known as the UEFA Europa League. At the same time, the UEFA Intertoto Cup, UEFA's third-tier competition, was discontinued and merged into the new Europa League. UEFA had considered adding a third-tier competition since at least 2015, believing that a bottom-level tournament could act as a means of giving clubs from lower-ranked UEFA member countries to have a chance of progressing to the stages beyond the stages they traditionally would be eliminated in the Champions League and Europa League. In mid-2018 talk of an announcement intensified, with news sources claiming an agreement had been reached for the competition to be launched and that the 48-team Europa League group stage would be split into two, with the lower-half forming the nucleus of what would be the new event.
On 2 December 2018, UEFA announced that the competition – provisionally known as "Europa League 2" or just "UEL2" – was to be launched as part of the 2021–24 three-year competition cycle, with UEFA announcing that the new tournament would bring "more matches for more clubs and more
Sevilla Fútbol Club referred to as Sevilla, is Spain's oldest sporting club devoted to football. Sevilla FC is based in Seville, the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Andalusia. Sevilla FC plays in La Liga; the club was formed on 25 January 1890, Scot Mr. Edward Farquharson Johnston being their first president. A few years on 14 October 1905, the club's articles of association were registered in the Civil Government of Seville under the presidency of the Jerez-born José Luis Gallegos Arnosa. Sevilla FC is the most successful club in Andalusia, winning a national league title in 1945–46, five Spanish Cups, one Spanish Super Cup, a record five UEFA Cups/UEFA Europa Leagues and the 2006 UEFA Super Cup, they were designated by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics as the World's best club in 2006 and 2007, thus being the first club to achieve this distinction in two consecutive years. Its youth team Sevilla Atlético, founded in 1958 play in Segunda División B.
The club are affiliated to a side in Puerto Rico of the same name. Other clubs related to Sevilla FC include their women's team, futsal team and former Superleague Formula team; the Club's home ground is the 43,883-seat Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium. It is located in the neighborhood of Nervión, Seville and owes its name to Ramón Sánchez Pizjuan, Sevilla FC’s President for 17 years. Sevilla FC has contributed many players to the Spain national team throughout their history; the practice of football was introduced in Seville at the end of the 19th century by the large British expatriate population in the city, composed by owners or managers of manufacturing companies based in the capital of Andalusia. Sevilla Fútbol Club was founded on 25 January 1890 as Sevilla Foot-ball Club. Sevilla was duly formed on 25 January 1890 while a group of young British Scots, along with other young men of Spanish origin, celebrated Burns Night in Seville; the club's founding document, published on the Dundee Courier's edition of 17 March 1890 describes in full detail the formation of the club and how those young founding members decided first to play under Association Rules, secondly to bear the word "football" within its name and thirdly, to elect their "office bearers".
The following paragraph is an extract of that article: ‘Some six weeks ago a few enthusiastic young residents of British origin met in one of the cafés for the purpose of considering a proposal that we should start an Athletic Association, the want of exercise being felt by the majority of us, who are chiefly engaged in mercantile pursuits. After a deal of talk and a limited consumption of small beer, the “Club de Football de Sevilla” was duly formed and office-bearers elected, it was decided we should play Association rules We were about half and half Spanish and British’ The club’s first president was the Scot Mr. Edward Farquharson Johnston, the British vice-consul in Seville and co-proprietor of the firm MacAndrews & Co. ship-owners with commercial lines between Spain and the UK, one of them being the transport of Seville oranges. Hugh Maccoll, another Scottish young man, a marine engineer who at that time had moved to Seville to work as the technical manager of Portilla White foundry, was their first captain.
One of Maccoll’s partners in the Portilla White foundry in Seville, Isaias White junior, was the club's first secretary. He was the son of an English entrepreneur who founded the aforesaid company, one of the major foundries in Spain at the end of the 19th century. In order to celebrate the foundation of the club, Isaias White sent a letter to Recreativo de Huelva, to invite them to play a football match in Seville; that letter was published by the Spanish newspaper La Provincia. Huelva Recreation accepted the invitation and the match took place on 8 March 1890, being thus the first official match played in Spain. Sevilla FC won that historical match 2–0, with the first goal in an official match in Spanish football history scored by the Seville team player Ritson. Isaias lived at Calle Bailen 41 in Seville making this the first home of Sevilla FC. In 1907, Sevilla Balompíe was founded, followed by Betis Football club in 1909, Recreativo de Sevilla and Español de Sevilla. More clubs were formed as the years passed and more competitive matches were organized between the teams, although Sevilla FC, the oldest club of the city, imposed its supremacy over the other clubs in this early period.
In 1912, the first Copa de Sevilla was played and won by Sevilla FC. From 1915 to 1932, the Copa Andalucia was organized by the "Federación Sur" and these championships included Sevilla FC, Real Betis Balompié, Recreativo de Huelva, Español de Cádiz and the sporadic participation of Nacional de Sevilla and Córdoba; the domination of Sevilla was so evident that of the 19 Championships of Andalusia played, 16 were won by the team, with the three remaining being won by Español de de Cádiz, Recreativo de Huelva and Real Betis Balompié, respectively. In 1918, Sevilla FC participated in the "Copa de España" for the first time and became the first Andalusian team to reach the final round of the competition. In 1928, when the "Campeonato Nacional" was organized, Sevilla FC was not part of the first division due to their defeat to Racing de Santander in an elimination game, set-up to decide which of the two teams would compete in the newly formed league. At the end of the 1933–34 season, Sevilla FC was promoted to the First Division of the "Campeonato Nacional."
In 1935, they
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 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 first appearance of Serbia and Montenegro under that name. 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 votes 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 continental confederations. Thirteen places were contested by UEFA teams, five by CAF teams, four by CONMEBOL teams, four by AFC teams, three by CONCACAF teams; the remaining two places were decided by playoffs between AFC and CONCACAF and between CONMEBOL and OFC.
Eight nations qualified for the finals for the first time: Angola, Czech Republic, Ivory Coast, Togo and Tobago, Serbia and Montenegro. Czech