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Germany have effectively pulled out of the race for the 2006 World Cup, after the head of the German bid, Franz Beckenbauer virtually admitted defeat.

The Germans have reacted angrily to the deal struck by Brazil and South Africa, which has seen the Brazilians drop out to back South Africa - in exchange for Africa's support in their 2010 bid.

Talking of the deal struck by the rival bidders, Beckenbauer commented: "That deal is offensive, it is horse-trading and means that we have probably lost the bid.

"When we heard about what happened, we wondered whether we should continue, but we have decided to carry on and we will see."

Fifa are due to make their decision in Zurich on Thursday and the African bid remains firm favourite, although England should now receive a major shift in support from Uefa, following the German withdrawal.
 

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Now I wonder too... :)
So what was the X-factor then? Beckenbauer bringing in Claudia Schiffer? :D
12-11 is cloooose! :eek:
 
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Blatter will do everything to bring the World Cup 2010 to South Africa, but his job as president could be on the line when elections are held again in 2002.
 
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