BERN, Switzerland (AP) — Swiss prosecutors have charged three German organizers of the 2006 World Cup and a former FIFA official with involvement in fraud over the true purpose of a 6.7 million euro ($7.5 million) payment linked to soccer’s world governing body.
The Swiss attorney general’s office said Tuesday that Horst R. Schmidt, Theo Zwanziger and Swiss ex-FIFA general secretary Urs Linsi are accused of jointly committing fraud, while Wolfgang Niersbach is charged with being complicit in fraud. Zwanziger and Niersbach are former presidents of the German soccer federation.
The office said that proceedings against Franz Beckenbauer, who headed the World Cup organizing committee, will be conducted separately because he is currently “unable for health reasons” to participate in the main proceedings.
The payment in April 2005 was falsely declared as being for a World Cup opening gala.