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Franz Beckenbauer's trial for corruption charges ends without verdict

FIFA say they are "deeply disappointed" and are adamant "the case is not over"

Franz Beckenbauer
Image: Franz Beckenbauer's trial had been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic

Franz Beckenbauer's five-year-long trial for corruption charges has been ended without a verdict after a statute of limitations expired.

The trial, which related to allegations of Beckenbauer being involved as the head of organising committee in two transactions made to FIFA when the 2006 World Cup was awarded to Germany, had to be suspended due to coronavirus.

FIFA, who have been under a new governance since 2016, say they are "deeply disappointed" but are adamant "the case is not over".

The World Cup-winning player and coach was accused of paying Qatari former FIFA exec Mohamed bin Hammam £8.4m before the 2006 World Cup in April 2005, with the second payment being made on April 27, 2005.

Beckenbauer headed the 2006 World Cup organising committee and at the time Bin Hammam was a member of the FIFA Executive Committee and the FIFA Finance Committee.

FIFA said in a statement: "FIFA is deeply disappointed that the trial related to the FIFA World Cup Germany 2006 will not take place because it has now become time barred.

Gianni Infantino is in agreement with Arsene Wenger
Image: FIFA has been under new governance with Gianni Infantino since 2016

"The fact that the case has now ended without a result of any kind is very worrying, not only for football but also for the administration of justice in Switzerland."

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In Switzerland, the maximum time in which criminal proceedings for allegations of fraud and assistance to fraud can be initiated is 15 years, which means the courts no longer have jurisdiction in Beckenbauer's case.

World football's governing body say they may take their case somewhere else.

"We hope that the truth around the CHF 10 million payment will one day come to light and that those having committed wrongful acts will be duly sanctioned, if not in Switzerland, then maybe somewhere else," FIFA said.

"For FIFA this case is certainly not over as we cannot and will not accept that a CHF 10 million payment is made from FIFA accounts without a proper reason."

Swiss federal prosecutors had filed fraud charges against three former senior German football organisers and a former FIFA official over a suspect payment linked to the same World Cup in 2006 but those cases have now ended.

Former president of the German FA, Theo Zwanziger, Horst R Schmidt (former German FA treasurer), Wolfgang Niersbach (executive vice president and press officer of the 2006 World Cup Organising Committee) and Urs Linsi (former FIFA general secretary) have all had their cases ended with 'no verdict' decisions.

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