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2006 World Cup

FIFA open proceedings against former German official

World football’s governing body, FIFA, has opened formal proceedings against Helmut Sandrock, former general secretary of the German Football Association, in an ongoing 2006 World Cup corruption probe.

Zurich-based FIFA’s ethics committee announced on Wednesday that it had started proceedings against the former German football official, who was also tournament director of the 2006 World Cup organising committee.

It has recommended he perform social work and pay a CHF50,000 ($51,652) fine for conduct related to the 2006 World Cup.In its final report, the FIFA ethics committee said in a statement, the investigatory chamber recommended social work for Sandrock as well as the fine for alleged violations of FIFA's general rules governing conduct, loyalty and duty of disclosure, cooperation and reporting.

Sandrock resigned as general secretary in February. His former boss, federation president Wolfgang Niersbach, was banned from football for one year in July in the first sanction from the investigation into Germany's World Cup bid. Niersbach stepped down from the job in November but remains a member of FIFA's ruling council. He is appealing the suspension.

Widening probe

Since March, FIFA has been investigating Sandrock and five others, including former football legend Franz Beckenbauer as part of a widening probe into suspected fraud involving Germany’s 2006 World Cup.

Earlier this month it was announced that police had carried out searches in eight locations, including Beckenbauer’s home in Austria, on behalf of Swiss prosecutors who are investigating corruption linked to FIFA.

Switzerland's attorney general's office said it opened criminal proceedings against Beckenbauer and three other German members of the 2006 World Cup organising committee’s executive board: Horst Rudolf Schmidt, Theo Zwanziger and Wolfgang Niersbach.

Authorities also reportedly searched the home of former German football official Fedor Radmann in the Swiss village of Appenzell.

The proceedings relate in particular to allegations of fraud, criminal mismanagement, money laundering and misappropriation.

Swiss federal prosecutors are investigating the 2006 World Cup allegations as part of a wider probe of FIFA’s business that has already put former president Sepp Blatter under criminal investigation.

Switzerland is also conducting criminal proceedings into the allocation of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, awarded to Russia and Qatar respectively.

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