Football: Swiss investigate Franz Beckenbauer over 2006 World Cup

Franz Beckenbauer was accused of corruption in the awarding of the 2006 World Cup to Germany.
Franz Beckenbauer was accused of corruption in the awarding of the 2006 World Cup to Germany. PHOTO: REUTERS

BERLIN (AFP) - Swiss federal prosecutors said on Thursday they have opened an investigation into money laundering against Franz Beckenbauer amid allegations of corruption in the awarding of the 2006 World Cup to Germany.

"I confirm that an operation is underway in this context," a spokesman for the Swiss authorities in Bern told AFP by e-mail.

It confirms a report in German magazine Der Spiegel, which says Beckenbauer, who captained Germany to the 1974 World Cup title and coached the side which won Italia 1990, faces the threat of prosecution.

Der Spiegel said the Swiss are investigating Beckenbauer concerning allegations of both mismanagement and money laundering.

In October 2015, the magazine claimed a secret fund of 10 million Swiss francs (S$13.83 million) was used to buy the hosting rights of the 2006 World Cup.

The money allegedly came from the late Robert Louis-Dreyfus, the former 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 said it could not rule out that Germany bought votes to secure the 2006 World Cup.

Beckenbauer, 70, who was head of the organising committee for the 2006 finals, has always denied any wrong doing.