Merkel presses German federation over 2006 World Cup

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November 14, 2015
Italy's Fabio Cannavaro (C) lifts the World Cup Trophy as he celebrates with teammates after the World Cup 2006 final football match between Italy and France in Berlin, July 9, 2006.
England's Joe Cole (left) battles for the ball with Trinidad and Tobago's Dwight Yorke during their World Cup 2006 Group B match in Nuremberg.
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BERLIN (AP):

German chancellor Angela Merkel is pressing the German football 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."

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