The adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee has ruled that the conduct of Franz Beckenbauer, Theo Zwanziger and Horst R. Schmidt in connection with the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ cannot be prosecuted due to the expiry of the applicable limitation period for prosecution in accordance with article 12 of the FIFA Code of Ethics (FCE).
The decision of the adjudicatory chamber follows the proceedings of the investigatory chamber initiated on 22 March 2016, which concluded that Messrs Beckenbauer, Zwanziger and Schmidt had violated article 27 of the FCE on bribery and corruption in relation to a payment of CHF 10 million made by, or on behalf of, the Organising Committee (OC) to Mr Mohamed bin Hammam in 2002. This payment was linked to the approval of a financial contribution of CHF 250 million allocated and paid by FIFA to the OC between 2002 and 2006.
However, in calculating the limitation period in its decision, the adjudicatory chamber ruled that the start of such a period should not be based on the duration of the entire scheme in relation to which the charge of bribery and corruption had been brought against the aforementioned officials, which occurred until 2006, but rather on the precise timing of the conduct of each individual official.
Consequently, the adjudicatory chamber held that the relevant limitation period had expired in 2012 for the conduct of Mr Beckenbauer, and in 2015 for the conduct of both Mr Zwanziger and Mr Schmidt, which entailed that their conduct can no longer be prosecuted in accordance with article 12 of the FCE.
The decisions were notified to Mr Beckenbauer, Mr Zwanziger and Mr Schmidt.