ZURICH (Reuters) - FIFA's ethics watchdog has started formal proceedings against six individuals, including soccer legend Franz Beckenbauer, over the awarding of hosting rights to Germany for the 2006 World Cup, global soccer's governing body said on Tuesday.
Other individuals included former German soccer officials 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.
Earlier this month, Beckenbauer 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.
(Reporting by Joshua Franklin; Editing by Michael Shields)