The trial of German football legend Franz Beckenbauer on corruption charges has been ended without a verdict.
The five-year long trial, held in Switzerland, had been suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the statute of limitations has now expired.
Beckenbauer was one of four men investigated over suspected corruption linked to the 2006 World Cup.
The 74-year-old, who won the World Cup as a player in 1974, and manager in 1990, had denied the allegations.
World football’s governing body Fifa said it was “deeply disappointed” that the trial would not go ahead.
Fifa’s statement added: “The fact that the case has now ended without a result of any kind is very worrying, not only for football, but for the administration of justice in Switzerland.”
In Switzerland, the maximum time in which criminal proceedings can be carried out on a fraud allegation is 15 years.
The courts no longer have jurisdiction over Beckenbauer’s case as it relates to an incident in 2005.
Beckenbaur was the head of the World Cup organising committee when Germany were named hosts for the 2006 World Cup.
He was accused of making two payments totalling £8.4m to former Fifa executive Mohamed bin Hammam in 2005.
In October 2015, Beckenbauer said he did not give “money to anyone in order to buy votes”.
Germany beat South Africa 12-11 in the World Cup vote, which took place in July 2000.
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