FIFA aborts Beckenbauer bribery prosecution

Beckenbauer's reputation has taken a hit from repeated allegations of foul play as a football administrator. Keystone / Barbara Gindl

The world governing body for football, FIFA, says it has run out of time to prosecute Franz Beckenbauer and two others for allegedly paying bribes in the build up to the 2006 World Cup.

This content was published on February 26, 2021 - 11:48

FIFA’s adjudicatory chamber, which judges ethical breaches, ruled on Friday that too much time had elapsed from when the alleged offences took place. This announcement was made despite the investigatory chamber of FIFA’s Ethics Committee having decided in 2016 that the three defendants violated bribery and corruption codes.

German football legend Beckenbauer, along with Theo Zwanziger and Horst R. Schmidt, were accused of paying a CHF10 million ($11 million) bribe to secure CHF250 million in financing for Germany to stage the 2006 World Cup tournament. All three were members of Germany’s World Cup organising committee.

The payment was made in 2002 to former Qatari football head Mohamed bin Hammam, FIFA statedExternal link. But even taking into account that the corruption scheme lasted until 2006, the adjudicatory chamber decided that the statute of limitations has expired.

A separate Swiss criminal trial into corruption surrounding the 2006 World Cup collapsed last year, also because the prosecution ran out of time.  

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