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FIFA Opens Bribery Investigation Against Franz Beckenbauer

FIFA

Zurich, Switzerland – FIFA Ethics Committee has opened formal proceedings against six individuals, including former World Cup winning coach and player Franz Beckenbauer, over the awarding of the 2006 World Cup to Germany.

The other six associates and their titles are:

Wolfgang Niersbach, former president of the DFB, vice-president of the 2006 FIFA World Cup Local Organising Committee (LOC) and current member of the FIFA and UEFA Executive Committees

Helmut Sandrock, former secretary general of the DFB and tournament director of the LOC

Franz Beckenbauer, former vice-president of the DFB, president of the LOC and former member of the FIFA Executive Committee

Theo Zwanziger, former president of the DFB, vice-president of the LOC and former member of the FIFA and UEFA Executive Committees

Horst R. Schmidt, former secretary general of the DFB and vice-president of the LOC

Stefan Hans, former chief financial officer of the DFB and chief financial officer of the LOC

Reports emerged last year that seemingly irregular payments had been made to assure Germany was awarded the World Cup ahead of South Africa.

The country won the right to host the tournament by 12 votes to 11, with Italy going on to win, beating France in the final.

“After examining the Freshfields report commissioned by the German Football Association (DFB), the investigatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee has decided to open formal proceedings against the following individuals in the context of the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ host selection and its associated funding,” a statement from FIFA began.

“The chairman of the investigatory chamber, Dr Cornel Borbély, will lead the investigation proceedings as the chief of the investigation. He will examine all relevant evidence and hand over the case reports at the appropriate time, along with recommendations, to the adjudicatory chamber of the Ethics Committee.

“Under the FIFA Code of Ethics, pursuant to the presumption of innocence, the investigatory chamber shall examine all circumstances of the cases equally. In this sense, all parties are presumed innocent until a decision has been passed by the adjudicatory chamber.”

“In the cases of Mr Beckenbauer, Dr Zwanziger, Mr Schmidt and Mr Hans, the investigatory chamber will investigate possible undue payments and contracts to gain an advantage in the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ host selection and the associated funding, which could constitute a breach of arts 13, 15, 18 and 19 as well as art. 20 (Offering and accepting gifts and other benefits) and art. 21 (Bribery and corruption) of the FIFA Code of Ethics.”

Photo credit to Markus Eisele via Flickr

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