Fifa has confirmed that acting Uefa president Angel Maria Villar is being investigated for wrongdoing by the organisation’s ethics committee.
Germany legend Franz Beckenbauer is also under investigation, according to an announcement on Wednesday.
Beckenbauer, 70, is a former World Cup winner with West Germany both as a player in 1974 and a coach in 1990, and a two-time winner of the European Footballer of the Year award
The revelation that Villar is under investigation is hugely embarrassing for Uefa, given that the Spanish federation president has been in charge of European football’s governing body while Michel Platini is suspended.
German weekly Der Spiegel reported on Friday that Germany’s 2006 World Cup bid team operarted a slush fund of 10.3 million Swiss francs (about $6m at that time) – with money provided by former Adidas CEO Robert Louis-Dreyfus – which was intended to buy the votes of Asian representatives on Fifa’s executive committee.
Bayern Munich’s honorary president Beckenbauer led Germany’s organising committee in 2006, but the German Football Association (DFB) has rejected claims either Beckenbauer or current president Wolfgang Niersbach (who was also cited in Spiegel’s report) were aware of the existence of the funds.
Beckenbauer said: “I never gave money to anyone in order to acquire votes so that Germany was awarded the 2006 World Cup.”
FIFA’s ethics committee has also confirmed that suspended Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke is under investigation “related to the suspicion of misuse of expenses and other infringements of FIFA’s rules and regulations.”
Valcke was initially suspended last month when Fifa ordered an investigation after he was accused of taking part in a deal for black market sales of tickets for matches at the 2014 World Cup.
Two weeks ago, Fifa’s ethics committee then provisionally suspended Valcke for 90 days, pending the full verdict in the case.
Valcke had been Blatter’s right-hand man for the past eight years under president Sepp Blatter, who has been suspended over separate allegations.