FIFA's ethics committee has opened formal proceedings against six individuals, including former World Cup winning coach and player Franz Beckenbauer, over the awarding of the 2006 World Cup to Germany.
Also among the six is Wolfgang Niersbach, the former president of the German Football Federation (DFB).
The others are another former DFB president Theo Zwanziger, Helmut Sandrock and Horst R. Schmidt, who are both former secretary generals of the federation, and its former chief financial officer Stefan Hans.
Beckenbauer, 70, is a former DFB vice-president and was president of the 2006 World Cup Local Organising Committee (LOC), which all the other five men were also members of.
A statement from the ethics committee on Tuesday said: "After examining the Freshfields report commissioned by the German Football Association, the investigatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee has decided to open formal proceedings against the following individuals in the context of the 2006 FIFA World Cup host selection and its associated funding."
It then listed the six names, before adding: "In the cases of Mr Beckenbauer, Dr Zwanziger, Mr Schmidt and Mr Hans, the investigatory chamber will investigate possible undue payments and contracts to gain an advantage in the 2006 FIFA World Cup host selection and the associated funding, which 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.
"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, which 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.
"The list of possible violations may be supplemented as additional information becomes available."
It also said the chairman of the investigatory chamber, Dr Cornel Borbely, will lead the investigation proceedings.
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