ZURICH: Franz Beckenbauer has been fined and cautioned by the FIFA ethics committee for failing to co-operate initially with the investigation into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Beckenbauer, legendary German player, manager and administrator, was a member of the executive committe which voted in December 2010 to award those two tournaments to Russia and Qatar respectively.
He stepped down as an exco delegate from European federation UEFA after one four-year term, in 2011.
The inquiry was run by the United States attorney Michael Garcia who was then head of the ethics committee’s investigatory chamber. Beckenbauer refused several requests to meet Garcia who then, in the spring of 2014, had the ‘Kaiser’ suspended from all football for 90 days.
Subsequent negative public reaction and pressure from sponsors and friends persuaded the greatest personality in German football history that his reputation and status were nose-diving and he changed his mind.
Beckenbauer had claimed that the questions letter from Garcia had been framed, complicatedly, in English. However the ethics committee insisted that full support in terms of translation was offered.
The ethics committee always stated that the initial suspension was merely a provisional sanction and that Beckenbauer would ultimately need to face a substantive ruling. This is it.
Hans-Joachim Eckert, senior ethics judge, recused himself from the case because he shares German nationality with Beckenbauer. Hence jurisdiction was assumed by Jack Kariko, a senior government lawyer from Papua New Guinea.
His decision was based on investigations carried out by the chief of investigation, Vanessa Allard, member of the investigatory chamber.
A statement from the ethics committee said Beckenbauer had failed to cooperate with the World Cup bid inquiry, including “requests to provide information during an in-person interview and in response to written questions presented in both English and German.”
The statement added: “Mr Beckenbauer thus did not behave in accordance with the general rules of conduct applicable to football officials in the context of the investigations, thereby violating . . . the FIFA Code of Ethics.
“As Mr Beckenbauer subsequently demonstrated a willingness to cooperate, he has been sanctioned with a warning and fine of 7,000 Swiss francs.”
The ethics statement noted that the case was entirely separate to the issue of the mystery payment effected by the German 2006 World Cup organising committee of which Beckenbauer had been president.
Germany’s DFB is expected to publish shortly a report into the controversy which it commissioned from independent lawyers.
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