Swiss authorities have opened a criminal case against German football legend Franz Beckenbauer over allegations of corruption in awarding the 2006 World Cup to Germany.
Beckenbauer and three other members of the 2006 World Cup organizing committee, Horst Rudolf Schmidt, Theo Zwanziger and Wolfgang Niersbach are being investigated as part of a wider probe of corruption linked to world football (soccer) organization FIFA, the office of the Attorney General of Switzerland said in a statement Thursday.
The statement said that the four are suspected of "fraud, criminal mismanagement, money laundering and misappropriation," relating to payments of $7.3 million and $10 million linked to FIFA.
Swiss prosecutors said that evidence was collected Thursday at “eight separate locations” in Germany and Austria.
Beckenbauer, 70, a former Bayern Munich captain who has denied any wrongdoings, was the chair of the organizing committee.
Niersbach, whose term expires in 2019, has been banned for one year by the FIFA ethics committee for not reporting suspected wrongdoing.
Schmidt was the vice president and Zwanziger a member of the 2006 World Cup organizing committee.