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Beckenbauer calls FIFA criticism superfluous

Written by: Staff
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BERLIN, Apr 18 (Reuters) Franz Beckenbauer lashed out at FIFA today for its criticism of World Cup organisers and said Germany was ready to host the month-long tournament.

''The FIFA has words of criticism for the organising committee over and over again,'' said Beckenbauer, the president of the organising committee. ''They're completely superfluous.'' Asked what criticism he was referring to, Beckenbauer added: ''It's the ticketing or whatever else.'' Beckenbauer was then pulled away from journalists by a press spokesman.

Beckenbauer said all Germany's venues were ready for the World Cup that starts on June 9.

''As far as we're concerned, the World Cup could start even tomorrow,'' Beckenbauer said. ''Then all the secondary issues will disappear and we can focus on the main issue -- soccer.'' FIFA president Sepp Blatter attacked German organisers last month for confusing ticket sales. He said FIFA should have kept control of ticket management and will take it back for 2010.

Only the person named on each ticket will be allowed access to the stadiums and organisers have warned spot checks on identity will be carried out as fans make their way to matches.

REUTERS AY HT1810

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