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FIFA disbands anti-racism task force

 By PA Sport

Beckenbauer to assist with FIFA probe

Franz Beckenbauer has promised to cooperate with FIFA's investigation into World Cup bidding and asked for the provisional ban against him to be lifted.

Beckenbauer, a World Cup-winning player and manager with West Germany, was handed a 90-day provisional ban for refusing to cooperate with FIFA's chief ethics investigator Michael Garcia's probe into bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, won by Russia and Qatar respectively.

It means that the 68-year-old is banned from attending any match during that period and was forced to call off his visit to Brazil for the World Cup, where he was due to work as a pundit for German TV.

A statement released by Beckenbauer's manager Marcus Hoefl said he would respond to the questions by June 27.

The statement read: "Franz Beckenbauer told FIFA on Saturday that he would answer the questions by the ethics committee investigation by June 27 at the latest.

"It is our understanding that there is thus no longer any 'suspicion of a possible violation' against FIFA rules so we are assuming that the provisional sanctions against him will be removed without delay.''

Hoefl added that Beckenbauer will answer all the questions in writing in German.

Beckenbauer said in the statement he was "extremely surprised" by the ban and that FIFA did not give him an opportunity to respond or warn him that a provisional ban was looming.

Beckenbauer, a former member of the FIFA executive committee, added: "It was the first time that FIFA didn't know how to contact me on the telephone.

"I had also assumed that I didn't have to answer the questions because I no longer have any official capacity at FIFA. But that's all cleared up now.''

A FIFA spokesperson said any decision on lifting the ban would be taken by ethics adjudicatory committee vice-chairman Alan Sullivan.

Beckenbauer has had business links with both Russia and Qatar but there is no suggestion these influenced his vote, while he has never stated which countries he did vote for.

He said last week: "People with a memory will remember that I declared just after [the vote] that the choice of Qatar surprised me. And I was one of the first to say that a World Cup over there was impossible and that it would have to be played in winter."


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