Belgium Pro League

Bayern defends Franz Beckenbauer from criticism in scandal

MUNICH (AP) Bayern Munich defended former football great Franz Beckenbauer from criticism over his role in the scandal concerning Germany's 2006 World Cup bid on Friday.

Bayern president Karl Hopfner told the club's annual general meeting that it had Beckenbauer to thank for a "hell of a lot" as player, coach and president, and that the club wouldn't have its new stadium without the 2006 World Cup.

"Beckenbauer is rightly our honorary president - and so will it stay," said Hopfner, who suggested Beckenbauer was being "condemned without trial" in the wake of corruption allegations initially published by German weekly Der Spiegel.