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Honigstein: WC scandal fallout continues


Bayern Munich president defends Franz Beckenbauer

Politician Ozcan Mutlu has said Beckenbauer 'buried his head in the sand' by not talking about the German football scandal.
Franz Beckenbauer has been linked to the 2006 World Cup scandal, which Raphael Honigstein says stains Franz's legacy.

Bayern Munich defended Franz Beckenbauer from criticism over his role in the scandal concerning Germany's 2006 World Cup bid on Friday.

Bayern president Karl Hopfner told the club's annual general meeting that it had Beckenbauer to thank for a "hell of a lot" as player, coach and president, and that the club would not have its new stadium without the 2006 World Cup.

"Beckenbauer is rightly our honorary president -- and so will it stay," said Hopfner, who suggested Beckenbauer was being "condemned...

Ex-FIFA president Joao Havelange in hospital for respiratory problems

Joao Havelange, 99, served as FIFA president for 24 years.

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Former FIFA president Joao Havelange is being treated in a Rio de Janeiro hospital for respiratory problems.

The 99-year old Brazilian, who handed over the FIFA presidency in 1998 to Sepp Blatter, was hospitalized a year ago for a similar problem.

"He is in stable condition," Rio Hospital Samaritano said Friday in a brief statement.

Reports of Havelange's condition first circulated Thursday, although the hospital told The Associated Press he was admitted more than a week ago on...

Sheikh Salman endorsed by Asian confederation executive committee

ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti gives his thoughts on the potential sanctions that will be handed down by the FIFA ethics committee.

GENEVA -- FIFA presidential candidate Sheikh Salman received an endorsement Friday from his executive committee colleagues at the Asian football confederation.

Three of the five FIFA candidates claim support from Asian voters, but the AFC said its 24-member executive committee unanimously backed Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa, a member of the Bahraini royal family.

"The members of the AFC executive committee passed a resolution urging all member associations to unite behind and support the...

Brazilian federation president Marco Polo del Nero leaves FIFA ExCo

Marco Polo del Nero will remain president of the Brazilian Football Confederation.

RIO DE JANEIRO -- The Brazilian Football Confederation said its president Marco Polo del Nero stepped down Thursday from FIFA's executive committee and will be replaced by Fernando Sarney.

Del Nero, who will remain as head of the CBF, had missed recent FIFA meetings in Switzerland. The move was confirmed by the South American football confederation -- CONMEBOL -- which met Thursday in Rio de Janeiro.

The CBF said in a statement that Del Nero had "announced his resignation" from the FIFA committee....

Qatar launches probe into construction sites for 2022 World Cup

Several sites to be used for the 2022 World Cup in Doha are under investigation for shoddy construction.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Qatar has launched an investigation after heavy rains exposed poor construction following a deluge that saw water cascade through the roof of its $15 billion main airport.

The country is set to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The investigation is already looking into the work of five unnamed companies and others could be targeted as well in the probe launched by Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, who also serves as interior minister, the...