FIFA’s ethics judges closed a bribery investigation against German great Franz Beckenbauer because a statute of limitations expired, football’s world governing body said.

Beckenbauer and other German officials who helped organize the 2006 World Cup had been subject to a FIFA ethics investigation opened in 2016. There was no time limitation on bribery prosecutions in FIFA’s ethics code until it amended the rules in 2018 to add a 10-year limit. Cases against Theo Zwanziger, who once replaced Beckenbauer on the FIFA executive committee member, and Horst Schmidt were also closed, FIFA said on Thursday.

The case involved a complex trail of suspect payments between the German World Cup organisers, FIFA and Qatari football official Mohamed bin Hammam ahead of the 2006 tournament. “Mr. Beckenbauer’s actions were related and limited to the bribe payment of (10 million Swiss francs)…

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