Zurich: Swiss federal prosecutors have filed fraud charges against three former senior German soccer officials over a suspect payment linked to the 2006 World Cup hosted by Germany, the Swiss Attorney General’s office said on Tuesday.
The indictment alleges former German Football Association (DFB) presidents Theo Zwanziger and Wolfgang Niersbach, senior DFB official Horst Schmidt and former Swiss FIFA official Urs Linsi misled members of a DFB body about the true purpose of a payment of about 6.7 million euros ($7.5 million), a statement said.
The four men have denied any wrongdoing. Proceedings against German soccer great Franz Beckenbauer, who is also under investigation in the case, are continuing separately because his health problems made it impossible to question him, the Attorney General’s Office (OAG) said.
Beckenbauer, a World Cup-winning player and coach for Germany, headed the 2006 World Cup organising committee.
Schmidt, Zwanziger and Linsi are accused of fraud and Niersbach of being complicit in fraud in the charges. The OAG said it dropped last month its investigation of money-laundering allegations in the case.
“The investigations have revealed that in summer 2002 Franz Beckenbauer accepted a loan of 10 million Swiss francs in his own name and for his own account from Robert Louis-Dreyfus. This sum was used to fund various payments made via a Swiss law firm to a Qatari company belonging to Mohammed Bin Hammam,” the OAG said.