Ethics Probe

Beckenbauer Under FIFA Investigation

Franz Beckenbauer source Reuters
Franz Beckenbauer is the subject of an FIFA ethics probe.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The FIFA ethics commission is investigating Franz Beckenbauer and his role in Qatar’s and Russia’s successful bids to host the soccer World Cup.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Franz Beckenbauer is a former footballer and manager who led Germany’s bid to host the World Cup in 2006 as head of the German Football Association, or DFB.
    • Russia won the right to host the World Cup in 2018 and Qatar will host the championship in 2022.
    • Mr. Beckenbauer was a member of the FIFA executive committee choosing the host countries for 2018 and 2022.
  • Audio

    Audio

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The world’s soccer governing body FIFA confirmed for the first time Wednesday that it has been investigating German soccer legend Franz Beckenbauer. The probe is apparently already so far along that it has moved on to the next stage.

FIFA said in a statement that it had completed an initial investigation into Mr. Beckenbauer, the former Bayern Munich player, over wrongdoing linked to World Cup tournaments awarded to Russia and Qatar, and that it had passed on its findings to its ethics committee for a final verdict.

The 70-year-old German, who won the World Cup as both a player and coach, sat on FIFA’s executive committee when it voted on bids from Russia and Qatar, which were later chosen to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups respectively.

Ángel María Villar Llona, who is president of the Spanish Football Association and has been vice president of the FIFA executive committee since 1998, is also under investigation, FIFA confirmed.

The cases of both men, who deny any wrongdoing, are related to non-cooperation with the committee’s investigations.

In June 2014, FIFA suspended Mr. Beckenbauer for 90 days after refusing to cooperate with the body’s then ethics investigator Michael Garcia’s probe into the World Cup votes. The organization lifted the ban after two weeks when the German agreed to answer Mr. Garcia’s questions, but the former soccer star has faced further scrutiny.

The verdict is now in the hands of the German ethics judge, Hans-Joachim Eckert.

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