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Jun 13, 2014

FIFA provisionally bans Beckenbauer

Franz Beckenbauer has been provisionally banned from taking part in any football-related activity at any level for 90 days after failing to cooperate with an investigation into Qatar's 2022 World Cup bid, FIFA has announced.

It was unclear whether the FIFA suspension would prevent Beckenbauer -- who won the World Cup as both a player and coach -- from attending the tournament in Brazil. He is the first person to be punished as a result of the investigation into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bid contests.

Reports alleged that Beckenbauer was reluctant to speak to FIFA's chief ethics investigator Michael Garcia about his part in the hosting votes in 2010. At the time, he was a member of the 22-strong FIFA executive committee.

Frankfurter Allgemeine reported that he had not yet disclosed whether he voted for Qatar, while Die Welt said Garcia had contacted him twice and alleged he had declined to cooperate with the investigation.

Earlier this month, a Sunday Times report on possible corruption during the bidding process for 2022 mentioned Beckenbauer's name in connection with the controversy for the first time. The paper said he had been in Qatar on business duties both ahead of and after the vote.

According to a recent report in Der Spiegel, he was instructed to vote for Australia as 2022 hosts as part of an agreement between the DFB and Australia after the Australians dropped out of the race for the 2011 Women's World Cup, which was then awarded to Germany.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter also claimed he voted for Australia -- but the nation received only one vote and was eliminated in the first round. "One of them must have lied," Der Spiegel claimed.

But despite Beckenbauer claiming that he had nothing to hide, FIFA announced on Friday that the former Germany international had been hit with a provisional ban.

An official statement read: "Franz Beckenbauer has been provisionally banned from taking part in any football-related activity, at any level, for 90 days. The deputy chairman of the FIFA Ethics Committee's adjudicatory chamber, Alan Sullivan, issued the ban at the request of the chairman of the investigatory chamber, Michael J. Garcia. The ban is effective immediately.

"The decision was taken pursuant to the FIFA Code of Ethics art. 83 par. 1, on the grounds that a breach of the Code of Ethics appears to have been committed and a decision on the main issue may not be taken early enough.

"The apparent breach relates to Mr Beckenbauer's failure to cooperate with an Ethics Committee investigation despite repeated requests for his assistance, including requests that he provide information during an in-person interview or in response to written questions provided in both English and German.

"The case is now the subject of formal investigation proceedings being conducted by investigatory chamber member Vanessa Allard as chief of the investigation.

"Pursuant to art. 35 par. 2(c), the chairman of the adjudicatory chamber, Judge Hans-Joachim Eckert, withdrew from participation in this matter."

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