A chronology of the World Cup scandal | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 01.09.2016
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A chronology of the World Cup scandal

The scandal around Franz Beckenbauer and allegations that Germany may have paid bribes for the right to host the 2006 World Cup has been going on for almost 11 months. Here is how it unfolded.

16 October 2015: German news magazine "Spiegel" runs a story contending that bribes were paid to secure Germany the right to host the 2006 World Cup. The money was allegedly channeled via a secret account into which the head of sportswear manufacturer Adidas Robert Louis-Dreyfus, a friend of Franz Beckenbauer, paid 10.3 million Swiss francs. The German football association, the DFB, vigorously denies the allegation but does acknowledge the existence of a nebulous payment of 6.7 million euros to FIFA.

18 October 2015: Beckenbauer, who was the president of the 2006 World Cup organizing committee, denies any wrongdoing: "I never had any money paid to anyone to buy votes for Germany to host of 2006 World Cup."

19 October 2015: The Frankfurt am Main prosecutor's office begins an "observation process" to determine whether a formal investigation into the case should be launched.

22 October 2015: DFB President Wolfgang Niersbach again denies that bribes were paid, saying that the 6.7 million euros went to FIFA as a security in return for the later receipt of 170 million euros in aid. FIFA says it is surprised by this statement and refutes Niersbach's account.

23 October 2015: Former DFB President Theo Zwanziger accuses Niersbach of lying, saying: "It's clear that the current DFB president didn't only know about these things for a couple of weeks, as he's claimed, but since 2005."

26 October 2015: Beckenbauer admits that the payment to FIFA was a mistake, for which he takes responsibility, but again denies accusations of bribery.

3 November 2015: Police officers and investigators from the Frankurt tax office search the DFB's headquarters and the homes of Niersbach, Zwanziger and former DFB General Secretary Horst R. Schmidt.

Wolfgang Niersbach DFB-Präsident

Wolfgang Niersbach

6 November 2015: "Spiegel" publishes a letter allegedly from Niersbach to FIFA, dated 2004, that suggests the DFB president knew about the irregular procedures much earler than he has admitted.

9 November 2015: Niersbach assumes "political responsibility" for the affair and resigns. DFB Vice-Presidents Reinhard Rauball and Rainer Koch take over the organization on an interim basis.

10 November 2015: Koch and Rauball acknowledge that Beckenbauer signed a document in which Germany promised "various services" to the controversial former president of the CONCACAF football federation, Jack Warner, who has been suspended by FIFA.

13 November 2015: Chancellor Angela Merkel says she expects the DFB to fully clear up the affair.

20 November 2015: Beckenbauer says he signed the document addressed to Warner without reading it.

Deutschland Franz Beckenbauer Vorstellung Organisation WM

Franz Beckenbauer

11 December 2015: FIFA President Sepp Blatter describes Beckenbauer's version of events as "absurd."

22 January 2016: The American FBI joins the Swiss prosecutor's office in investigating the affair.

5 February 2016: The DFB says it is retaining the option of suing Beckenbauer, Zwanziger and Niersbach for damages.

26 February 2016: "Spiegel" reports that documents and files have disappeared from the DFB archive.

4 March 2016: Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, the law firm that the DFB hired to look into any possible wrongdoing, publishes its own report on the affair. It concludes that there is no absolute proof that votes were bought in the awarding of the 2006 World Cup, but that there are indications to that effect. The report is particularly critical of Beckenbauer and Niersbach.

5 March 2016: Beckenbauer again denies the bribery allegations, repeating his claim that the money in question was security for later financial support from FIFA.

22 March 2016: FIFA's Ethics Commission begins a formal investigation of those responsible for Germany 2006 World Cup bid, including Niersbach.

15 April 2016: Conservative member of parliament and the DFB's treasurer, Reinhard Grindel becomes its new president.

25 July 2016: The Ethics Commission suspends Niersbach for one year, but says the ban is for Niersbach having tried to clear up the affair internally and not for having made bribes.

1 September 2016: The Swiss prosecutor's office launches an investigation into Beckenbauer, Zwanziger, Niersbach and Schmidt. The authorities conduct searches of eight premises in connection with the affair.

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