UK & World News

  • 14 June 2014, 4:09

Fifa Bans Franz Beckenbauer From Football

German football legend Franz Beckenbauer has been provisionally banned from the game for 90 days for failing to co-operate with an inquiry into bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Fifa says the 68-year-old, who won the World Cup as a player in 1974 and a coach in 1990, would not be interviewed or give a written response to questions.

Beckenbauer was a voting member of the governing body's executive committee which chose Russia and Qatar to host the 2018 and 2022 tournaments respectively.

He left the Fifa executive in 2011 but remains on Fifa's football committee. He is also honorary president of Bayern Munich.

He apparently refused to help the investigation headed by Michael Garcia, the former US federal prosecutor.

In a statement Fifa said he declined to "co-operate with an Ethics Committee investigation despite repeated requests for his assistance".

Among the requests was that he "provide information during an in-person interview or in response to written questions provided in both English and German".

The spotlight has fallen on Mr Garcia's inquiry after The Sunday Times claimed a former Qatar football boss and Fifa vice-president, Mohamed bin Hammam, paid more than 3m to gain support for the country's bid.

The money is said to have gone to dozens of football federation officials around the world, many from Africa.

In an interview with Bild newspaper published this week, Beckenbauer said he had nothing to hide, but complained Mr Garcia had refused to put his questions in a language he understood.

"I have absolutely nothing to hide and I am clearly also of the opinion that there must be sanctions for those responsible when corruption is proved," he said.

"I was ready to answer all pertinent questions, but they sent them to me in a legal English that I could not understand in such a complex case.

"I politely asked that the interview be held in German and I was refused. So I said: 'Never mind'."

Beckenbauer has refused to say who he voted for in 2010, although he has let it be known he was "surprised" by the choice of Qatar.

The bribery allegations - strenuously denied by Qatar - have been a major embarrassment for Fifa president Sepp Blatter.

A number of World Cup sponsors have called for an independent probe, while European football bosses have said the 78-year-old should stand down when his term of office ends next year.

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