'Mr World Cup' dies

2006-07-14 11:17
Berlin - The top World Cup official in Berlin has died four days after shooting himself in the head just hours after the final, the German press reported on Friday.

The Berliner Morgenpost quoted a spokesperson of the Charite hospital as saying Juergen Kiessling, 65, passed away on Thursday.

Known in Berlin as "Mister World Cup", Kiessling took a handgun to himself late on Sunday at his home in the northern suburb of Reinickendorf hours after Italy won the championship.

A press report earlier this week said Kiessling had left two suicide notes, one to his young daughter and the other to the rest of his family.

It quoted the police as saying the letters had referred to "political problems".

But his son issued a statement on Thursday saying the reasons for the suicide were "personal".

Kiessling was the top sports official in the city-state of Berlin's government and was a World Cup co-ordinator for football's governing body Fifa.

He was responsible for the hugely successful Fan Mile in central Berlin, where giant screens showed the matches to hundreds of thousands of ticketless fans.

The tournament was seen worldwide as an organizational triumph for Germany. - AFP

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