The decision-making body of the independent FIFA Ethics Committee has decided that the Germans Franz Beckenbauer, Theo Zwanziger and Horst R. Schmidt cannot be prosecuted as part of the investigation into the awarding of Germany as the venue for the World Cup. 2006, as the applicable statute of limitations according to the FIFA Code of Ethics (article 12) has expired.
FIFA confirmed this decision after the investigating body initiated proceedings on March 22, 2016, in which it was concluded that Beckenbauer, Zwanziger and Schmidt had violated article 27 of the code for bribery and corruption for the alleged payment of 10 million francs Swiss in 2002 to the Qatari Mohamed bin Hammam on behalf of the organizing committee of the German championship.
A suspicious payment
The 10 million Swiss franc transfer made from a joint account of Beckenbauer and an advisor to a Qatari company owned by former FIFA official Mohamed bin Hammam, suspended for life for corruption, was associated with alleged vote buying in the election of Germany to host the 2006 World Cup.
The payment of these 10 million Swiss francs is also linked to the approval of a financial contribution of 250 million Swiss francs that FIFA granted and paid to the organizing committee between 2002 and 2006.
A controversial vote
The 2006 World Cup was awarded in 2000 to Germany, whose candidacy beat South Africa by 12 to 11. In the vote, the representative of New Zealand, Charles Dempsey, abstained, as revealed days later, after receiving several threats .
In a statement, FIFA explained that in relation to the calculation of the statute of limitations for the events, the decision-making body of its Ethics Committee resolved that “the beginning of said period should not be based on the duration of the plot for which they have been filed charges of bribery and corruption against the cited officers – which ended in 2006 – but based on the date on which each one of them maintained these behaviors. “
Cases prescribed in 2012 and 2015
Therefore, in the case of Franz Beckenbauer, former president of the German Federation and of the organizing committee of Germany 2006, the statute of limitations expired in 2012 and in the case of Zwanziger, also former president of the German Federation, and of Schmidt, former general secretary of this, in 2015.
FIFA indicated that these decisions were notified this Thursday to the three affected and have been published in “legal.fifa.com”.