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Bayern under the microscope

BERLIN, September 17- European football's governing body said Thursday that it had opened an internal inquiry following reported remarks by a UEFA official allegedly suggesting corruption at German giants Bayern Munich.Bayern have begun legal action against Peter Limacher, head of UEFA’s disciplinary committee, who has denied making the remarks, which have incensed the German giants, to weekly magazine Stern.

"Today at noon, senior members of UEFA including president Michel Platini met with Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge to discuss recent events and agreed the need to have absolute clarity on the matter," said Bayern in a statement.

"Bayern Munich has been informed that, in order to clarify the case, UEFA has already opened an internal investigation on the whole matter."

In Geneva, UEFA said that its officials and Bayern had held "an open and constructive conversation."

"It was mentioned that, in the light of the recent press coverage, UEFA understands the reasons for the reaction of FC Bayern Munich," said a UEFA statement.

The inquiry has been launched after Limacher and his colleague Robin Boksic told Stern about allegations Bayern had been bribed to lose their UEFA Cup semi-final to Zenit St Petersburg in May 2008.

The article claims Boksic was the source of those allegations, but Limacher has since denied making any such comments.

At that time, German prosecutors said they had no evidence to start an investigation.

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According to Stern, the UEFA employees told a Spanish prosecutor and several journalists from the magazine they had evidence of corruption linked to Bayern, but never presented any proof.

"I never said that. I have no knowledge of it," Limacher told the Financial Times Deutschland (FTD) on Thursday.

According to Stern, Limacher said searches had taken place at the homes of several senior figures at Bayern during which large sums of money and cocaine were seized.

"It is unfounded, I never said that," said Limacher in the FTD.

"I am not aware of any search or payment at Bayern Munich where sums of money were found amounting to seven-figures in order to manipulate a game."

Bayern Munich have started legal action against both Limacher and Boksic and in a statement the German giants bitterly denied the allegations and said the comments were "totally untrue and slanderous".

"We are completely white as snow in this case. Bayern will not allow our reputation to be tarnished," said Rummenigge on Wednesday after Bayern beat Roma 2-0 in the Champions League.

"These two employees of UEFA cannot keep their positions," insisted Rummenigge who is also the president of the European Club Association (ECA).

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