German football chiefs Friday launched a lawsuit involving Franz Beckenbauer, world governing body FIFA, two former German federation (DFB) presidents as well as the former head of Adidas as part of the 2006 World Cup scandal.
"The DFB has taken the measure to avoid a statute of limitations" that could prevent a future claim for compensation from the federation, they said in a statement released to sports news agency SID, an affiliate of AFP.
As a result, the DFB reserved the right to reclaim the mysterious 6.7 million euro ($7.2 million) payment made to FIFA which is at the heart of corruption allegations dogging the bidding process for the 2006 World Cup.
German football has been engulfed by claims that the payment was used to purchase the votes of four members of FIFA's executive committee in 2000 -- days before Germany narrowly won the right to host the 2006 finals.
However, Beckenbauer, like the former chief of Germany's football association Wolfgang Niersbach, has insisted that no bribery was involved and that the sum had to be paid to FIFA in order to obtain a bigger grant from world football's governing body.
Beckenbauer was in charge of the organising committee for the tournament.
Der Spiegel newspaper had alleged that the 2006 World Cup bidding committee accepted a 6.7 million euro loan from ex-Adidas chief Robert Louis-Dreyfus, who died in 2009, and that the loan was used to buy the votes of four Asian members of FIFA's 24-strong executive committee.