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German Chancellor Angela Merkel is "disappointed" like many people in the country in the president of German football giants Bayern Munich, Uli Hoeness, her spokesman said Monday after alleged tax evasion revelations.
"Many people in Germany are now disappointed in Uli Hoeness, the chancellor is also among these people," Steffen Seibert told a regular government news briefing.
He recognised positive achievements by Hoeness, including on the integration of immigrants which had brought him into contact with Merkel on a project last year, Seibert said.
But he said that with Hoeness' voluntary disclosure of a Swiss bank account, "another sad facet" had now come along.
Hoeness, 61, revealed to Focus news weekly at the weekend that he had voluntarily disclosed a Swiss bank account in January and is working closely with investigators on a tax evasion probe.
Both the football legend and prosecutors have declined to divulge the sums involved.
Hoeness, who also draws income from a successful sausage company he co-founded, told Focus he had originally planned to come forward after an expected German-Swiss tax accord came into effect, which would have allowed him to settle the matter anonymously with a one-off payment.
But the centre-left opposition torpedoed the measure late last year on the grounds that it unfairly offered criminal amnesty to tax dodgers.