Swiss authorities carry out fresh house searches in FIFA case

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Swiss authorities have searched more houses as part of their criminal investigation into suspected corruption in world football, media reports said on Wednesday.

The reports also said the Swiss authorities have added former FIFA general secretary, Urs Linsi, to their list of suspects.

“The Office of the Attorney-General (OAG) of Switzerland confirms that on Nov. 23 it conducted house searches with the support of the Federal Office of Police (fedpol) at various locations in the German-speaking part of Switzerland,” the OAG said in an emailed statement.

“The measures were carried out as part of the investigations relating to a payment of 6.7 million Euros ($7.1 million) made in April 2005 by the German Football Association (Deutscher Fussball-Bund, DFB) to Robert Louis-Dreyfus.”

That payment which went via football’s world governing body FIFA, according to German authorities, to the late Adidas boss Dreyfus, was a return of a loan made years earlier.

This was when Germany was bidding to host the 2006 World Cup.

It has since been linked with payments to FIFA officials via the account of then World Cup chief and Germany’s former football great Franz Beckenbauer.

Beckenbauer is under investigation by Swiss authorities, who have opened criminal proceedings against him and two former presidents of the DFB.

The investigation is in connection with Germany’s successful bid for the 2006 World Cup.

Beckenbauer has previously admitted to making mistakes but has denied wrongdoing.

The affair has shocked football-mad Germany and forced the resignation of former DFB President Wolfgang Niersbach last year.

He has since been banned by FIFA for a year.

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.

This had involved several other firms or individuals, including Beckenbauer.

(Reuters/NAN)


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