Beckenbauer cancels trip

  • Last Updated: June 14 2014, 16:23 BST

Franz Beckenbauer has called off his planned trip to Brazil after being provisionally banned by FIFA while an investigation takes place into his refusal to co-operate with a probe into World Cup bidding.

Franz Beckenbauer: Received a ban from FIFA
Franz Beckenbauer: Received a ban from FIFA

The 68-year-old, Germany's most famous World Cup player and manager, said he had nothing to hide but that he would not be welcome at the tournament after his suspension.

He told German newspaper Bild: "I won't be going to Brazil. I am basing that decision on the fact I will not be welcomed by FIFA."

Beckenbauer, who remains honorary president of Bayern Munich and a special adviser to FIFA's football committee, refused to meet FIFA's ethics investigator Michael Garcia, who is looking into the bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups won by Russia and Qatar respectively.

There have been allegations of corruption surrounding Qatar's bid, strongly denied by bid leaders, and Beckenbauer said he had a right to keep his vote in 2010 secret.

But he added: "People with a memory will remember that I declared just after (the vote) that the choice of Qatar surprised me. And I was one of the first to say that a World Cup over there was impossible and that it would have to be played in winter.

"I have absolutely nothing to hide and I am clearly also of the opinion that there must be sanctions for those responsible when corruption is proved.

"I was ready to answer all pertinent questions, but they sent them to me in a legal English that I could not understand in such a complex case.

"So I politely asked that the interview be held in German and I was refused. So I said: 'Never mind,"' Beckenbauer added.

Beckenbauer has had business links with both Russia and Qatar but there is no suggestion these influenced his vote - and he has never stated which countries he did vote for.

He is an ambassador for the Association of Russian Gas Producers and German media have reported he visited Qatar in June 2011 as part of a business delegation representing the Hamburg-based ship-owning company ER Capital Holding on a trip arranged by Mohamed Bin Hammam, the former FIFA member who was banned for life in 2012.

Garcia has completed his investigation into the bidding and his report will now be reviewed by the adjudicatory chamber which will decide on whether there is to be any action.