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Beckenbauer and Villar investigated by Fifa

Beckenbauer and Villar investigated by FifaHalf of the 22 Fifa officials who voted to award the World Cup to Russia in 2018 and Qatar in 2022 are now under investigation or suspended from football.

After being granted permission to publicise its formal investigations, Fifa’s ethics committee confirmed on Wednesday that Franz Beckenbauer, the former Germany international, and Angel Maria Villar Llona, the head of European football, have been investigated and are awaiting judgment.

Both men were on Fifa’s executive committee at the time of the 2010 World Cup vote. Also on the committee, and under investigation by Fifa, are Worawi Makudi, Ricardo Teixeira, Nicolas Leoz, Michel Platini and Sepp Blatter.

Four other members, including Jack Warner, the former Caribbean football chief, and Mohamed Bin Hammam of Qatar, had been banned previously by world football’s governing body.

The long shadow of the 2010 vote continues to hang over Fifa, which has been under pressure since US and Swiss investigators began looking into corruption in world football in 2010.

“If two other countries had emerged from the envelope, I think we would not have these problems today,” Mr Blatter told the Fifa congress in May.
Beckenbauer and Villar investigated by Fifa

The revelation of the cases against Mr Beckenbauer and Mr Villar is particularly embarrassing. Mr Villar only recently assumed temporary control of Uefa, which runs European football, following Mr Platini’s suspension.

He was also put in charge of the 2018 World Cup organising committee on Tuesday. Uefa declined to comment on the investigation but said the information had been noted.

Mr Beckenbauer, who was in charge of organising the 2006 World Cup in Germany, denied reports at the weekend of a vote-buying slush fund that helped Germany win its bid for the tournament.

“I never gave money to anyone in order to acquire votes so that Germany is awarded the 2006 World Cup,” Mr Beckenbauer said. “And I am certain that no other member of the bid committee did something like that.”

According to Spiegel, a German magazine, a €6.7m fund was set up with a loan from Robert Louis-Dreyfus, the former Adidas chief executive, for Germany’s World Cup bid committee to pay bribes to Fifa officials.

The German football association said it was investigating a €6.7m payment from the bid committee to Fifa for a cultural programme during the 2006 World Cup and whether it was used as intended.

Fifa’s ethics committee said it would “do everything in its power” to decide on the cases of Mr Platini and Mr Blatter before the scheduled election of a new Fifa president on February 26.

Chung Mong-Joon, another of the 2010 voters who is suspended, spoke out against his ban on Wednesday, saying the ethics committee had not told him why it had sanctioned him. He accused Fifa of trying to sabotage his attempt to become Fifa president.

Source: Financial Times
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