FRANKFURT, Germany — FIFA ethics investigators recommended a fine and community service on Thursday for a former high-ranking German soccer federation official for failing to report possible corruption surrounding the 2006 World Cup.
Helmut Sandrock resigned as general secretary of the German federation in February. His former boss, federation president Wolfgang Niersbach, was banned from soccer for one year in July in the first sanction from the investigation into Germany’s World Cup bid. Niersbach stepped down from the job in November but remains a member of FIFA’s ruling council. He is appealing the suspension.
FIFA’s ethics committee found Niersbach guilty of failing to report findings of possible unethical conduct and conflicts of interest during the bidding process.
Sandrock is accused of similar misconduct and the ethics committee investigators recommended a fine of 50,000 Swiss francs ($51,000), plus community service.
The probe involves irregular seven-figure payments and contracts during the bidding process and organization of the World Cup implicating senior officials.
The main FIFA ethics case focuses on former Germany great Franz Beckenbauer, who headed the World Cup organizing team and joined the FIFA executive committee in 2007; Theo Zwanziger, who replaced Beckenbauer at FIFA in 2011; Horst Schmidt, vice president of the World Cup organizing panel; and Stefan Hans, chief financial officer for the organizers. Sandrock was also on the organizing committee.
The four are suspected of fraud, money laundering, criminal mismanagement and misappropriation relating to a payment of 6.7 million euros ($7.3 million) to FIFA in 2005.
Swiss federal prosecutors and German criminal and tax investigators also have wider ongoing criminal cases into the 2006 World Cup — a hugely successful tournament at the time which the host nation called its “Summer Fairytale.”