Franz Beckenbauer to be investigated by Fifa over possible bribery to win 2006 World Cup votes

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Marked man: Legendary defender Franz Beckenbauer was a member of the 2006 organising committee (Source: Getty)

Franz Beckenbauer will be the subject of a Fifa probe into possible wrongdoing in the bidding process for the 2006 World Cup to Germany.

The legendary player is one of six former and current German football officials who served on the tournament's organising committee now being investigated by football's governing body.

Fifa decided to open proceedings following the publication of a Freshfields report commissioned by the German Football Association (DFB) which concluded that vote-rigging could not be ruled out completely.

Former DFB president and current Fifa and Uefa executive committee member Wolfgang Niersbach is also named as a subject of Fifa's inquiry.

"In the cases of Mr Beckenbauer...the investigatory chamber will investigate possible undue payments and contracts to gain an advantage in the 2006 Fifa World Cup," Fifa said in a statement which cited potential breaches of its code of ethics.

Speculation surrounding the 2006 World Cup was sparked by a suspect €6.7m (£5.3m) payment from DFB to Fifa in 2005 which Der Spiegel magazine alleged had been used to buy votes.

Freshfields' Christian Duve said there was no evidence the payment had been used on the opening ceremony gala as had been described in DFB financial documents.

Beckenbauer is also identified as having made a payment via a Swiss bank account to Qatari scaffolding company Kemco, owned by disgraced former Fifa official Mohammed Bin Hammam.

Beckenbauer denies any wrongdoing.

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