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Wednesday, January 7, 1998 Published at 17:56 GMT



Sport: Football

German hero wants England support
image: [ Can England co-host the World Cup 2006? ]
Can England co-host the World Cup 2006?

Football legend Franz Beckenbauer has called on England to agree a joint World Cup bid with Germany.

Beckenbauer says Germany and England are wasting money fighting each other to become the sole 2006 hosts.

The shock suggestion from the former German international met with a cautious response from the English Football Association.

Beckenbauer said: "We are both wasting money.

"It will split the European vote and South Africa will get the 2006 World Cup if it goes on like this."

South Africa is expected to bid for the competition after losing out on staging the 2004 Olympics.

Beckenbauer admitted his plan might not be popular with Fifa, which is already unhappy that the 2002 finals will be staged in Japan and South Korea.

Beckenbauer's proposal is in stark contrast to international bickering last February when Germany said England should pull out of the race for 2006.

Germany claimed the two countries had an agreement whereby England would stage Euro 96 in return for allowing Germany a free run at the 2006 World Cup.

English officials denied any such agreement existed.

The FA's Director of Public Affairs, David Davies said: "We're bound to give serious consideration to what Franz Beckenbauer has said although we understand that up to this point FIFA have not been encouraging joint bids.

"Our campaign has been going very well. It continues."
 





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