BERN: Swiss investigators have undertaken more property raids in the ongoing inquiry into corruption at world football governing body FIFA and the German football federation.
A statement from the Office of the Attorney General revealed that on November 23 it had carried out house searches “with the support of the Federal Office of Police at various locations in the German-speaking part of Switzerland.”
The statement added: “The measures were carried out as part of the investigations relating to a payment of €6.7m made in April 2005 by the German Football Association (Deutscher Fussball-Bund, DFB) to Robert Louis-Dreyfus.”
That payment sent from FIFA, according to German authorities, to the late Adidas boss Dreyfus, was a return of a loan made years earlier when Germany was bidding to host the 2006 World Cup.
It has since been linked with payments to FIFA officials via the account of Franz Beckenbauer, the former superstar player who became 2006 World Cup bid leader and then organising committee president.
Beckenbauer is under investigation by Swiss authorities, who have opened criminal proceedings against him and two former presidents of the DFB in connection with Germany’s successful bid for the 2006 World Cup. He has admitted mistakes but denied wrongdoing.
The scandal forced the resignation of last year former DFB president Wolfgang Niersbach who has since also been banned for a year from the game by the FIFA ethics committee.
The DFB’s own report into alleged irregularities over the awarding of the 2006 World Cup was published in March.
It said that, while there was no evidence of Germany paying FIFA members in return for votes, payments were made to at least one former FIFA official through a web of accounts involving several other firms or individuals, including Beckenbauer.
In a further move, the OAG announced that FIFA’s ex-general secretary Urs Linsi had been added to its list of formal suspects who include former president Sepp Blatter. The statement said: “A further suspect is Urs Linsi . . . The measures carried out on 23 November 2016 relate to Urs Linsi.”
Linsi, until last week, was serving as president of a small bank in Zurich.