(CNS): The FIFA corruption scandal that has shaken the entire football world has moved to Germany. Swiss authorities have now launched an investigation into the German Football Association and four officials, including veteran international football star Franz Beckenbauer. The probe is looking at allegations of fraud, criminal mismanagement, money laundering and misappropriation over the 2006 World Cup.
Alongside Beckenbauer, Horst Rudolf Schmidt, Theo Zwanziger and Wolfgang Niersbach have been named by the attorney general in Switzerland as suspects in the case. The men were all members of the executive board on the organising committee for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
In the latest chapter in the sorry saga of football corruption, Swiss officials said in a press statement that the investigations are focusing on a $10 million gala event from which association funds were diverted to pay a debt that was not owed by the German Football Association. The four men are suspected of “willfully” misleading other members of the executive board, and some of the alleged criminal acts were carried out in Switzerland.
FIFA had already started an enquiry of its own earlier this year into where the cash had gone.
The football corruption scandal began in earnest last May when Cayman’s own Jeff Webb, the former CONCACAF president and FIFA vice president, was arrested along with several other officials after the US authorities revealed a massive ongoing corruption probe. Webb has pleaded guilty to a number of corruption offences and remains under house arrest in Atlanta, Georgia, on a $10 million bond. He is scheduled to be sentenced in November.
Meanwhile, concerns about the mismanagement of the Cayman Islands Football Association’s funds in Cayman have still not been addressed, and despite the promises of CIFA President Lee Ramoon, who was elected to the post in May, the possible misappropriation of millions of dollars has not been addressed.