Merkel presses German federation over 2006 World Cup

BERLIN (AP) Chancellor Angela Merkel is pressing the German soccer federation to get to the bottom of allegations surrounding the 2006 World Cup.

Questions have swirled in recent weeks over a suspect payment to FIFA in connection with the World Cup.

On Monday, federation president Wolfgang Niersbach resigned, saying he was taking ''political responsibility'' despite not having done anything wrong.

The payment has led to a tax-evasion probe against Niersbach and two other former officials. Some Germans worry the scandal will do permanent damage to memories of what became known as the ''summer fairy tale'' of 2006, when the World Cup polished the country's image abroad.

Merkel says ''the memories are unchangeable and, apart from that, I hope that the German Football Federation will transparently clear up everything that happened.''

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.