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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 6, 2006

Beckenbauer would pay high price for UEFA post

FRANKFURT, Jan 6 (Reuters) - Germany's Franz Beckenbauer is ready to give up lucrative advertising contracts if he goes ahead with a bid to succeed Lennart Johansson as president of UEFA.

Beckenbauer, a World Cup winner as captain in 1974 and again as coach in 1990, has been Germany's advertising icon for decades.

The hugely respected, ever-smiling 60-year-old currently appears in TV adverts scoring goals for a bank, sipping Bavarian beer and plugging a mobile phone operator but that will all end if Johansson decides to step down in 2007.

'As president of UEFA one must be independent,' Beckenbauer said in an interview with Capital magazine. 'That would be the end of my career in advertising.'

Beckenbauer, who heads the organising committee for the World Cup and did more than anyone else to bring the tournament to Germany this year, has said he will bid for the UEFA presidency only if Johansson decides against running again.

That decision is expected to come after the World Cup, which runs from June 9 to July 9.

France's Michel Platini has also stated his intention to run for the job.

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