Swiss federal prosecutors are investigating soccer great Franz Beckenbauer and three other German soccer officials for fraud and money laundering in connection with the award of the 2006 World Cup to Germany, authorities said on Thursday.
"The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland has opened criminal proceedings in connection with the German Football Association (DFB). The suspects were members of the executive board of the organizing committee for the 2006 World Cup in Germany," it said in a statement.
It named them as Beckenbauer, Horst Rudolf Schmidt, Theo Zwanziger and Wolfgang Niersbach.
The Attorney General's office said it was working with counterparts in Germany and Austria and that simultaneous searches for evidence were conducted in eight locations on Thursday.