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FIFA confirms investigation into Franz Beckenbauer

The name of the former Bayern Munich and Germany legend was on a list of FIFA officials facing adjudicatory chamber scrutiny. FIFA also said it would try to limit Michel Platini and Sepp Blatter's suspensions to 90 days.

FIFA's Ethics Committee confirmed on Wednesday that investigations have been launched into former Executive Committee member Franz Beckenbauer over wrongdoings.

The 70-year-old sat on the Executive Committee when the World Cup bidding rights were awarded to Russia and Qatar. Beckenbauer was also briefly suspended for 90 days in June 2014 for failing to respond to questions from Michael Garcia - a ban that was swiftly lifted.

Beckenbauer's case has now been passed on to the adjudicatory chamber for a verdict by Hans-Joachim Eckert, the organization's ethics judge. The investigation into Angel Maria Villar Llona, the head of the Spanish Football Federation, is also now in the hands of Eckert.

It's the latest scandal for German football following allegations of "vote-buying" to secure the hosting rights to the 2006 World Cup - vehemently denied by the German DFB football association. Beckenbauer was the head of the Organizing Committee and has been under the spotlight along with the current DFB President Wolfgang Niersbach.

"I never gave money to anyone in order to acquire votes so that Germany is awarded the 2006 World Cup," Beckenbauer said in a statement this week. "And I am certain that no other member of the bid committee did anything like that."

Meanwhile, FIFA confirmed that President Sepp Blatter, his right-hand man Jerome Valcke, and UEFA President Michel Platini all remained under investigation.

The world governing body said in a statement that it hoped the results of both cases could be revealed before the end of their 90-day suspensions. The suspensions could theoretically be extended by a further 45 days, but such an extension could preclude Platini from running for FIFA's presidency, pushing his ban too close to the February ballot.

rd/msh (AFP, dpa, Reuters, SID)