Updates from Friday, June 27
Franz Beckenbauer's FIFA ban has been lifted after he was originally found guilty of failing to cooperate with the organisation's ethics committee regarding an investigation into corruption.
The Press Association reported the following via ABC News on Friday:
Football's governing body informed Beckenbauer on Friday that the ban was lifted with immediate effect, manager Marcus Hoefl said in a statement posted via his Twitter feed.
Friday's statement said Beckenbauer's management team continued to believe the ban wasn't justified because he had no obligation to testify to FIFA, but said that with hindsight it would have been better for him to answer the questions earlier.
"I underestimated the matter," Beckenbauer said in the statement, adding that the main reason was "such voluminous administrative things" are usually dealt with by his management team, but in this case he was unable to involve it fully."
Updates from Sunday, June 15
The Guardian's Philip Oltermann later provided a statement from Franz Beckenbauer, courtesy of his manager Marcus Höfl:
It was the first time that Fifa did not know how to contact me by telephone. Furthermore I always assumed that I did not have to answer the questions because I no longer hold an official function with Fifa. But that has now been cleared up.
Updates from Saturday, June 14
Richard Conway of BBC Sport has the latest on Beckenbauer:
Legendary German international Franz Beckenbauer has been suspended from all football-related activities for 90 days by FIFA for a reported failure to cooperate with the organisation's ethics committee.
The Associated Press' Rob Harris first broke the story:
FIFA later released an official statement via their own website:
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.
FIFA have faced a storm of criticism over the last few days centered around the controversial decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar and the handful of protests that have taken place against the organisation during the first days of the 2014 World Cup.
Gary Lineker thinks this could just be the beginning:
Bleacher Report's Charles Lawley offered his take:
The Guardian's Philip Oltermann reported on Beckenbauer's involvement with the Qatar controversy earlier this week, shedding some light on the role Der Kaiser may have played.
Beckenbauer reportedly failed to answer questions, saying he "didn't understand them in English," and he refused to state which countries received his vote for the right to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
The former captain of Die Mannschaft, who no longer works for FIFA but still holds some connection with the organisation as a "special adviser," refused to cooperate with a committee looking into claims Qatar may have bought the 2022 World Cup.
Per Oltermann, Beckenbauer has always denied any claims his decisions may have been influenced by lobbyists working on behalf of the Qatari bid:
The former Germany player, who won World Cups as a player in 1974 and as a coach in 1990, has denied that his vote was influenced by Qatari lobbying or that he has ever worked on behalf of Mohamed bin Hammam, the then Fifa executive member for Qatar.
The media have reported that Beckenbauer repeatedly visited the emirate on the Persian Gulf before and after Qatar won the bid in 2010. In October 2009 Beckenbauer is said to have accepted an invitation by Bin Hammam upon a recommendation by his friend and adviser, the German sports functionary Fedor Radmann. Since Radmann was at the time lobbying on behalf of Australia’s bid for the World Cup, it had until now been assumed that Beckenbauer had voted for Australia, who had only managed to get a single vote.
How this ban will impact Beckenbauer's current standing with FIFA or his work during the 2014 World Cup is unclear, but the message the ethics committee is sending the world isn't.
Beckenbauer is a legend of German football and one of the most revered defenders of all time, and by suspending him for 90 days, it is now clear FIFA aren't only looking into the corruption scandal, but also that no one is safe.
Der Kaiser currently works as a pundit for Sky Germany and occasionally writes guest columns for Bild.
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