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Football boss arrested asofficials probe bribery claims

9 March 2004

MUNICH – The president of German Bundesliga club 1860 Munich, Karl-Heinz Wildmoser, was arrested on Tuesday after police probing bribery allegations raided the club headquarters and his home.

Police also raided the offices of former Champions League winners Bayern Munich, but pointed out that no allegations were being made against the club, whose offices were being raided to find evidence against Wildmoser and three other people in connection with bribery allegations.

German media on Tuesday were claiming that Wildmoser is being accused of giving confidential information about a tender for a new stadium in Munich to the Austrian company that was then awarded the EUR 280 million contract. Wildmoser is said to have received EUR 2.8 million for the information.

Police also arrested Wildmoser’s son, as well as two other unnamed people. An official said that they were investigating fraud, bribery and tax evasion against the four.

The World Cup stadium, the Allianz Arena, is being jointly built by Munich’s two Bundesliga clubs, Bayern Munich and 1860 Munich. Wildmoser’s son, Karl-Heinz Wildmoser, jun., is one of two CEO’s of the Allianz Arena company and heads 1860’s football division.

Munich mayor Christian Ude, said that he was “devastated by the news.” He said that he had known about the investigation since last year and that the reputation of the stadium project, the city and football in general had been damaged.

He said that the fraud division of the city had very carefully investigated the claims. The money that was paid can only have been handed over for information.

“One of the construction companies thereby knew how expensive they could be and how cheap they had to be to be awarded the tender,” he said.

A spokesman for the Allianz insurance group, which is said to have paid EUR 90 million for the naming rights, said that he was very surprised and hoped that the allegations would not be proved to be correct. He said he did not know if the reputation of the stadium would be tarnished.

1860 Munich said in a statement that while Wildmoser and his son were being investigated, the club was not under investigation. “We remain fully operational,” they said.

Subject: German news