beckenbauer suspect in fraud case
ZURICH — Soccer great Franz Beckenbauer is a criminal suspect in a World Cup fraud case. Beckenbauer's home in Austria was raided for evidence Thursday by Swiss federal prosecutors investigating links to the sport's governing body, FIFA. Switzerland's attorney general's office said it had opened criminal proceedings against Beckenbauer, 70, and three other German members of the 2006 World Cup organizing committee.
The four are suspected of fraud, money laundering, criminal mismanagement and misappropriation relating to a payment of $7.3 million linked to FIFA before the tournament. Beckenbauer and two other suspects are past or current members of the FIFA executive committee.
The Swiss criminal case, opened in November but confirmed only Thursday, has tarnished the reputation of a World Cup that was a popular success in the host country. It also threatens to wreck the reputation of the Beckenbauer, arguably the nation's greatest player, who captained and coached West Germany to World Cup titles, then organized the 2006 tournament.
More soccer: History was made by a successful test of video replays in France's 3-1 win over host Italy in a friendly, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said. Though the test was labeled offline, Infantino said video was examined when Italy protested a perceived hand ball. "You could see that the referee stopped play for a couple of seconds, and during those seconds, the two referees in the truck verified that there was no penalty," Infantino told Rai TV. Video experiments are also being held in national club competitions this season, including the Bundesliga, Major League Soccer and Serie A. … U.S. midfielder Heather O'Reilly, winner of three Olympic gold medals and the World Cup last year, announced her retirement from international soccer after 15 years with the team. O'Reilly, 31, will play her final international match Sept. 15 against Thailand in Columbus, Ohio.
Autos: NASCAR postponed all track activity today and canceled qualifying for its Sprint Cup and Xfinity races at Darlington Raceway in anticipation of Hurricane Hermine bringing inclement weather to the South Carolina track. Both series will line up the field based on points in the standings. The Xfinity race was scheduled for Saturday afternoon, and the Cup race was scheduled for Sunday night. … With a dedication to mentor Michael Schumacher, Williams driver Felipe Massa said he will retire from Formula One at the end of the season. The 35-year-old Brazilian said he chose to make the announcement at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza because that was where Schumacher made his retirement announcement a decade ago, which cleared the way for Massa to remain at Ferrari.
NHL: Sweden's Henrik Zetterberg is out of the World Cup of Hockey because of a knee injury suffered during off-ice training, said his NHL general manager, the Red Wings' Ken Holland. Flames forward Mikael Backlund will replace Zetterberg in the tournament, which begins Sept. 17 in Toronto. … Center Scott Gomez, who won two Stanley Cups with the Devils, said he is retiring after 16 seasons. Gomez, 36, won the Cup in 2000 and 2003. The Devils drafted him in the first round in 1997. He was the league's rookie of the year in 1999-2000.
Track and field: Olympic 200-meter champion Elaine Thompson of Jamaica ran the world's second-fastest time this year, 21.85 seconds, to edge Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands at the Weltklasse Diamond League meet in Zurich. Allyson Felix, the 2012 Olympic champ who didn't make the U.S. 200 lineup this year, was third. Other winning Olympic champs included Americans and former Gators Kerron Clement in the 400 hurdles and Christian Taylor in the triple jump.