Franz Beckenbauer has been provisionally banned from all footballing activities by Fifa – for “failing to co-operate” with its inquiry into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding process.
The World Cup winning German legend had been asked to help with
led by lawyer Michael Garcia.
Beckenbauer, 68, was part of the Fifa executive committee that voted to give the tournament to Russia in 2018 and Qatar in 2022.
He has been banned for 90 days.
Beckenbauer captained West Germany to victory as hosts at the 1974 World Cup, and was coach when they next lifted the trophy in Italy 16 years later.
He then managed at Olympique Marseille and Bayern Munich, where he is now honorary president.
“Franz Beckenbauer had been asked by Fifa’s ethics prosecutor Michael Garcia to meet him and help answer some of the lawyer’s questions. The BBC understands Beckenbauer twice refused to meet Garcia because he felt Garcia had no power to make him comply – as Beckenbauer was no longer actively involved in football.
“Beckenbauer is on the Fifa committee looking into the future of the game and is honorary president and global ambassador at Bayern Munich. Fifa executives, including vice-president Jim Boyce, had called for those who refused to co-operate with the investigation to be ‘named and shamed’.”
Fifa said Beckenbauer ignored “repeated requests” to assist with an independent investigation into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments.
No details have been given on what Garcia wanted to speak to Beckenbauer about.
Garcia’s remit includes looking into allegations that Qatari football official Mohamed Bin Hammam made payments totalling £3m to football officials in return for their support for the Qatar bid – as set out in a
But Beckenbauer said: “I politely requested a meeting in which we could talk about the matter in German. That was apparently not desired. That aside, I wouldn’t be able to contribute anything to clear up the matter anyway.”
World football’s governing body said Beckenbauer was asked to supply answers to written questions provided in both English and German.
In a statement, Fifa said: “The apparent breach relates to Mr Beckenbauer’s failure to co-operate with an ethics committee investigation despite repeated requests for his assistance.
“The case is now the subject of formal investigation proceedings being conducted by investigatory chamber member Vanessa Allard as chief of the investigation.”
Fifa vice-president Jim Boyce said: “This very much shows once again how the Fifa reform process is working. The independent ethics committee are doing a good job and should have the full support of everybody.”
Garcia says he now has “almost all” of the documents referred to by the Sunday Times report.
On Friday, Beckenbauer told German television: “I am the Bayern Munich honorary president. Even if I cannot do this for 90 days it is something the honorary president can survive.”