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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 April 2006, 15:01 GMT 16:01 UK
Beckenbauer answers Fifa comments
Franz Beckenbauer
Beckenbauer addressed Fifa's criticism over ticketing
Franz Beckenbauer hit back at Fifa on Tuesday for its criticism of the World Cup organisers and said Germany was ready to host the month-long event.

"Fifa has words of criticism for the organising committee over and over again," said organising committee president Beckenbauer.

"As far as we're concerned, the World Cup could start even tomorrow.

"Then all the secondary issues will disappear and we can focus on the main issue - soccer."

Asked what criticism he was referring to, the footballing legend added: "It's the ticketing or whatever else."

Fifa president Sepp Blatter attacked German organisers last month for confusing ticket sales, saying football's world governing body should have kept control of ticket management and will take it back for 2010.

Beckenbauer, who led West Germany to success in the finals as a player in 1974 and as a manager in 1990, also believes England should not be downhearted about the fact there will be no English managers at the World Cup.

Swede Sven-Goran Eriksson will take England to this summer's tournament which starts on 9 June.

"England has a legendary tradition of great football managers as well, and I'm not just talking about the past," he said.

"The fact that there aren't World Cup teams with English managers doesn't mean that your managers lack competitiveness.

"On the contrary, there are many World Cup-level managers in England."

  • Meanwhile, referees at the event have won a 100% pay rise and will earn $40,000 (22,500) each.

    Twenty-three referees have been chosen to run the 64 games in Germany and will each be backed by two assistants.

    These assistants will also get same amount as the referees as will each member of the seven "reserve" refereeing trios, even if they are not called into action.

    "The fee per referee has doubled from South Korea and Japan four years ago when it was $20,000 each," Fifa general secretary Urs Linsi told a news conference on Tuesday.

    "For the first time we're also giving something to the referees and assistants who don't make it. They've worked hard and come a long way, even if in the end they weren't successful."

    Blatter slams World Cup ticketing
    05 Mar 06 |  World Cup 2006
    German nightmare
    19 Jan 06 |  World Cup 2006
    Calls for fresh Cup safety review
    17 Jan 06 |  World Cup 2006
    Beckenbauer hits back over venues
    11 Jan 06 |  World Cup 2006
    Germany starts Cup safety inquiry
    18 Jan 06 |  World Cup 2006


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