Fifa is investigating six German football officials, including icon Franz Beckenbauer, over alleged bribery in awarding Germany the right to host the 2006 World Cup. The former Bayern Munich and Germany captain is being probed by the world football governing body's ethics committee alongside compatriots Wolfgang Niersbach, Helmut Sandrock, Theo Zwanziger, Horst Schmidt and Stefan Hans.
"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," the investigatory chamber of Zurich-based Fifa's ethics committee said in a statement.
Beckenbauer - one of Germany's most revered sons - has denied any wrongdoing in an affair involving the 2006 World Cup in Germany and said he knew nothing of a multi-million payment to a disgraced former Fifa official in Qatar.
He had a 90-day football ban imposed against him lifted in June 2014 after he failed to answer oral and written questions, in both English and German, about his role in awarding Russia and Qatar the 2018 and 2022 World Cups respectively.
American lawyer Michael Garcia, who led a report into awarding the World Cups, failed to get answers from the Bayern Munich legend despite "repeated requests".