World football governing body, Fédération Internationale de Football Association [FIFA] has launched investigation into the manner of award of the 2006 FIFA World Cup to Germany.
The investigatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee opened the formal proceedings on Tuesday, 22 March.
FIFA took the step after examining the Freshfields report commissioned by the German Football Association (DFB).
The formal proceedings will focus on the following individuals in the context of the 2006 FIFA World Cup host selection and its associated funding:
– Wolfgang Niersbach, former president of the DFB, vice-president of the 2006 FIFA World Cup Local Organising Committee (LOC) and current member of the FIFA and UEFA Executive Committees
– Helmut Sandrock, former secretary general of the DFB and tournament director of the LOC
– Franz Beckenbauer, former vice-president of the DFB, president of the LOC and former member of the FIFA Executive Committee
– Theo Zwanziger, former president of the DFB, vice-president of the LOC and former member of the FIFA and UEFA Executive Committees
– Horst R. Schmidt, former secretary general of the DFB and vice-president of the LOC
– Stefan Hans, former chief financial officer of the DFB and chief financial officer of the LOC
The chairman of the investigatory chamber, Dr Cornel Borbély, will lead the investigation proceedings as the chief of the investigation.
He will examine all relevant evidence and hand over the case reports at the appropriate time, along with recommendations, to the adjudicatory chamber of the Ethics Committee.
Under the FIFA Code of Ethics, pursuant to the presumption of innocence, the investigatory chamber shall examine all circumstances of the cases equally.
In this sense, all parties are presumed innocent until a decision has been passed by the adjudicatory chamber.
In the cases of Messrs Niersbach and Sandrock, the investigatory chamber will investigate a possible failure to report a breach of the FIFA Code of Ethics.
That could constitute a breach of art. 13 (General rules of conduct), art. 15 (Loyalty), art. 18 (Duty of disclosure, cooperating and reporting) and art. 19 (Conflicts of interest) of the FCE.
In the cases of Mr Beckenbauer, Dr Zwanziger, Mr Schmidt and Mr Hans, the investigatory chamber will investigate possible undue payments and contracts.
The payments are aimed at gaining advantage in the 2006 FIFA World Cup host selection and the associated funding.
That could constitute a breach of arts 13, 15, 18 and 19 as well as art. 20 (Offering and accepting gifts and other benefits) and art. 21 (Bribery and corruption) of the FIFA Code of Ethics.
The list of possible violations may be supplemented as additional information becomes available.