The Public Prosecution Service (OM) in Switzerland officially sued Horst Rudolf Schmidt, Theo Zwanziger and Wolfgang Niersbach on Tuesday. The former directors of the German Football Association (DFB) are suspected of fraud in connection with the allocation of the 2006 World Cup.
According to the OM, the three, together with the then Swiss FIFA official Urs Linsi, misled the supervisory body of the German association for the 2006 World Cup about a payment of 6.7 million euros.
The then directors stated at the time that the money was intended for a
World Cup gala, but that turned out not to be the case. The amount was deposited into the account of a company in Qatar under the leadership of former FIFA vice president Mohamed Bin Hammam, who has since been suspended for life due to corruption.
"The exact purpose of the payment to Bin Hammam is unknown," the Swiss OM said in a statement. "We submitted a request to the Qatari authorities for cooperation in this case in September 2016, but we have not heard anything since."
Franz Beckenbauer, who was responsible for the German bid to win the 2006 World Cup, is also suspected of fraud and money laundering. Partly due to health problems, 'Der Kaiser' will be heard separately.
The Swiss judiciary has been investigating the state of affairs regarding the 2006 World Cup allocation for years. The cause was a publication in the German magazine Der Spiegel in 2016, which uncovered the dubious payment of 6.7 million euros. Wolfgang Niersbach therefore resigned as chairman of the football association.