Tax authorities have uncovered a cache of deleted files pertinent to an investigation into Germany's 2006 World Cup bid. Members of the organizing committee face allegations of fraud, corruption and misappropriation.
According to local media reports, German tax authorities have discovered and retrieved a deleted cache of files on a computer seized from the German DFB football federation offices. The cache of recovered files appears to be pertinent to an investigation into alleged corruption among members of Germany's 2006 World Cup organization committee.
German broadcaster NDR and WDR reported that the files were deleted just moments after then-DFB boss Wolfgang Niersbach had held a press conference in October 2015 to reject allegations that illegal payments helped Germany win the right to host the 2006 World Cup. Niersbach resigned less than a month later, after tax authorities raided the DFB's Frankfurt headquarters.
Responding to the allegations, a DFB spokesperson said: "Under the new DFB leadership, we are unable to provide any additional information, while, due to our limited technical resources, we are unable to provide any insights into who may have deleted the files and whether any subsequent files were deleted."
Links to disgraced former FIFA official Jack Warner
According to reports, the seven documents in question are believed to contain new information linking the organizing committee to former FIFA official Jack Warner. The disgraced former FIFA official was banned for life from any football-related activity in 2015 after being founded guilty of fraud and corruption.
In December, Frankfurt prosecutors said they had successfully cracked an encrypted filed named "Complex Jack Warner," which had been handed to them by the DFB. Niersbach's attorney said the former DFB chief had no knowledge of the "allegedly deleted files," adding that never gave such an order.
German World Cup organization committee under investigation
Key members from the German organization committee - Franz Beckenbauer, Hans-Rudolf Schmidt, Theo Zwanziger and Wolfgang Niersbach - are also under investigation from Switzerland's top prosecution authority. In 2015, it was revealed that committee members faced allegations of fraud al mismanagement, money laundering and misappropriation in connection with the awarding of the 2006 World Cup.