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Jun 10, 2014

Beckenbauer faces Qatar claims

FIFA president Sepp Blatter hit out at corruption claims against the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, describing them as "racist."

German media reports have alleged that Franz Beckenbauer has been reluctant to speak to FIFA's chief ethics investigator Michael Garcia about his part in the controversial awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.

- More sponsors voice Qatar concerns
Blatter accuses critics of racism
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At the time of the 2010 vote to award the tournament to Qatar, Beckenbauer -- a Germany legend who has won the World Cup as both a player and a coach -- was a member of the 22-strong FIFA executive committee.

Frankfurter Allgemeine reported that Beckenbauer had not yet disclosed whether or not he voted for Qatar, and Die Welt reported that 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 the 2022 World Cup mentioned Beckenbauer's name in connection with the controversy for the first time.

The paper reported that he had been in Qatar on business duties both ahead of and after the vote.

In 2009, he reportedly travelled there at the invitation of former FIFA executive member Mohamed bin Hammam, and at the intercession of Fedor Radmann, who had been working as a lobbyist for Australia, who were also in the running for the World Cup. In 2011, he made a second trip to Qatar.

Die Welt said he claimed not to have fully understood questions he had received in English, and quoted him as saying: "That's why I asked that we meet and discuss the matter in German. This was obviously not desired."

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