Berlin - Swiss
federal prosecutors on Thursday announced that they had opened criminal
proceedings against German football legend Franz Beckenbauer over
allegations of corruption in the awarding of the 2006 Soccer World Cup to
Beckenbauer, 70, is under investigation with three other members of
the 2006 World Cup organising committee - Hans-Rudolf Schmidt, Theo
Zwanziger and Wolfgang Niersbach - said the Office of the Attorney
General of Switzerland.
"The proceedings relate in particular to allegations of fraud,
criminal mismanagement, money laundering and misappropriation," the
office said in a statement.
"The suspects were members of the executive board of the organising committee for the 2006 World Cup in Germany."
Niersbach and Zwanziger are both former German Football Association presidents and Schmidt a former general secretary.
All four were members of Germany's World Cup organising committee, with Beckenbauer its president.
Beckenbauer captained Germany to the 1974 World Cup and coached the side that won the trophy in Italy in 1990.
German magazine Der Spiegel claimed in October 2015 a secret fund of
10 million Swiss francs was used to buy the hosting rights of the 2006
The money allegedly came from the late Robert Louis-Dreyfus, ex-boss
of Adidas, at Beckenbauer's request, and was handed over in 2000, just
before Germany were awarded the 2006 finals by a narrow vote.
In May, an independent inquiry commissioned by the German Football
Association (DFB) said it could not rule out that Germany bought votes
to secure the 2006 World Cup.
Beckenbauer has always denied any wrongdoing.