Swiss authorities have started criminal investigations into Franz Beckenbauer and three others over Germany’s bid for the 2006 World Cup. they are suspected of fraud, criminal mismanagement, money laundering and misappropriation. In March this year world football governing body FIFA started investigations into six men for their part in Germany getting the rights to host the 2006 cup. Swiss investigations were linked to FIFA’s investigations.
Swiss prosecutors named four suspects yesterday:
(1) Franz Beckenbauer was formerly vice-president of the German Football Association (DFB), president of the 2006 World Cup local organising committee (LOC) and a member of the FIFA executive committee.
(2) Wolfgang Niersbach was formerly president of the DFB, vice-president of the LOC and is currently a member of the FIFA and UEFA executive committees.
(3) Theo Zwanziger was formerly president of the DFB, vice-president of the LOC and a member of the FIFA and UEFA executive committees.
(4) Horst Rudolf Schmidt was formerly secretary-general of the DFB and vice-president of the LOC.
The Swiss federal prosecution office said yesterday that “Searches of premises or searches on a cooperative basis for the collection of evidence were carried out in eight separate locations (in Austria and Germany) at the same time today.” Beckenbauer’s home in Austria was also included in the above raid.
Swiss authorities said that, “Swiss jurisdiction in the proceedings is based on the fact that certain of the alleged criminal acts were carried out in Switzerland, which is also the suspected place of unlawful enrichment.”
Beckenbauer, now 70, was the captain of the West Germany team that won the 1974 World Cup and was coach when Germany won again in 1990.
In February, the German football federation released a 361-page report explaining a complex trail about payments of 6.7 million euros ($7.3 million) and 10 million Swiss francs ($10 million). The report said the payment by the German football federation to FIFA on April 27, 2005, was declared by the World Cup organizing committee for an opening gala. But it was intended to repay a debt that was not owed by the DFB to Louis-Dreyfus. An investigation conducted by law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, found that it could not rule out the possibility of vote buying. It also found out that a slush fund money ended up in an account of the former FIFA executive committee member Mohamed bin Hammam.
6 September 2016
The German newspaper Bild reported last week that Beckenbauer, 70, underwent open heart bypass surgery on Saturday, 4 September 2016, just days after Swiss authorities filed criminal proceedings against him. When the authorities carried out a two-hour search on the previous day he was stll at gome in Salzburg, Austria. Later that day he travelled to a clinic in southern Germany to prepare for the surgery on the following day.