Swiss federal prosecutors have filed fraud charges against three former German football leaders for a suspicious payment related to the 2006 World Cup organized by Germany, said the Swiss Attorney General’s office.
The indictment alleges that Horst Schmidt, Theo Zwanziger and Wolfgang Niersbach, as well as former Swiss FIFA official Urs Linsi, misled the members of a supervisory body of a committee of the German Football Association (DFB) on the real objective of payment of about 6.7 million euros (7.5 million euros). The four men denied any wrongdoing!.
The prosecution of Franz Beckenbauer, a former German footballer, who is also under investigation, is being prosecuted separately, as his health problems prevented him from being questioned, said the Attorney General’s Office (OAG).
Schmidt, Zwanziger and Linsi are accused of fraud and Niersbach to be complicit in the fraud.
The OAG announced that last month it dropped its investigation into allegations of money laundering in this case.
“The investigations revealed that Franz Beckenbauer had accepted in the summer of 2002 a loan of 10 million Swiss francs in his name and for his own account with Robert Louis-Dreyfus. This sum was used to finance various payments made through a Swiss law firm to a Qatari company owned by Mohammed Bin Hammam, “said OAG.
At the time, Bin Hammam was a member of the FIFA Executive Committee.
The payment triggered several investigations and led to the resignation of Niersbach following allegations that it was used as a slush fund to buy votes in favor of the German bid for the 2006 tournament.
An investigation commissioned by the DFB in 2016 revealed that this amount corresponded to the repayment of a loan by the former president of Adidas, Louis-Dreyfus, via FIFA