Franz Beckenbauer fined, warned by FIFA ethics judges

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ZURICH (AP) Franz Beckenbauer has been fined and warned by FIFA’s ethics committee for refusing to cooperate with Michael Garcia’s investigation of World Cup bidding.

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Beckenbauer failed to cooperate “despite repeated requests for his assistance” in the 2018-2022 World Cup inquiry, world soccer’s ethics committee judging chamber said Wednesday. Beckenbauer was also fined 7,000 Swiss francs ($7,050).

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“Mr. Beckenbauer thus did not behave in accordance with the general rules of conduct applicable to football officials in the context of the investigations,” the ethics judges said in a statement.

It is the second sanction imposed on the former West Germany great for initially snubbing Garcia, who was FIFA’s lead ethics prosecutor until resigning in December 2014.

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Garcia got Beckenbauer banned from duty for 90 days during the 2014 World Cup that initially blocked him attending matches in Brazil. The ban was lifted after 14 days when Beckenbauer agreed to answer questions.

Beckenbauer was a FIFA executive committee member during the December 2010 vote that chose Russia and Qatar as World Cup hosts for 2018 and 2022 respectively. He left the FIFA ruling committee in 2011.

The light punishment is unlikely to end his dealings with FIFA ethics investigators.

Beckenbauer is currently implicated in claims of misconduct by Germany’s bidding team to secure hosting the 2006 World Cup.

“The present case did not look into the matters related to the awarding of the 2006 FIFA World Cup to Germany,” the ethics committee said.

State prosecutors and tax officials in Germany are investigating allegations linked to the bid and its relations with FIFA. The complex has also involved the attorney general’s office in Switzerland, which is leading a wide-ranging investigation of FIFA’s business affairs.