Berlin: An independent inquiry said Friday it could not rule out Germany bought votes to secure the 2006 World Cup and linked Franz Beckenbauer to a “mysterious” deal with disgraced FIFA official Jack Warner.

The investigation commissioned by the German Football Federation (DFB) said that some paper documents were missing, electronic files were password-protected, and some key witnesses refused to cooperate.

FIFA says
World body FIFA separately complained that its investigation into the 2006 World Cup had been “hampered” by key witnesses who refused to give evidence.

The German inquiry outlined a money trail linking Beckenbauer, the national football legend and World Cup organising committee chief, former Adidas chief Robert Louis-Dreyfus and Qatar’s Mohammed bin Hamman, who has since been banned from football for life over corruption claims.

Beckenbauer was warned and fined by FIFA last month for his failure to cooperate with a separate investigation into the award of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

“We have no proof that votes were bought, but we cannot rule this out,” said Christian Duve of Freshfields, the law firm commissioned to probe corruption allegations.