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Beckenbauer to stand down from FIFA executive

Franz Beckenbauer will not run for another term on the executive committee of football's ruling body FIFA. The German football legend said he was not seeking re-election for personal reasons.

Beckenbauer on his 65th birthday

Beckenbauer turned 65 in September

German football legend Franz Beckenbauer will not seek a new term on the FIFA executive committee, the governing body for world soccer. Beckenbauer plans to step down in March 2011 for personal reasons.

"I want to spend more time with my family," Beckenbauer, known as "the Kaiser," explained. He was captain of the team that won the World Cup in 1974, and coached the German team to glory again in 1990. Beckenbauer was also a key figure in Germany's preparations for hosting the World Cup in 2006.

"I had and have a very good time with my colleagues on the FIFA board… I ask for understanding for my decision."

Beckenbauer stressed he had a good relationship with the rest of the board, and that he had informed them of his decision.

The 65-year-old had previously indicated he wanted to scale down his duties, and travel less. He stepped down as president of Bayern Munich last year.

Franz Beckenbauer on the pitch

Beckenbauer captained the German team to World Cup glory in 1974

Beckenbauer has been a member of the FIFA executive for three years, rrepresenting the European Football Association UEFA.

The head of the German soccer federation, Theo Zwanziger, praised Beckenbauer's contribution to football:

"Franz Beckenbauer is an excellent and highly respected representative of German football across the world," Zwanziger said. "We regret that he wants to pull out of the executive comittee but obviously respect his personal reasons. We will now think calmly about how we will position ourselves for electing a successor next year."

The election of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosts will be Beckenbauer's last major task as part of the powerful 24-member FIFA executive committee.

Author: Joanna Impey (AFP, dpa, Reuters)
Editor: Michael Lawton

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