FIFA on Friday banned German football legend Franz Beckenbauer from any football-related activity for 90 days after he refused to speak to an inquiry into allegations that Qatar paid bribes to secure votes for its 2022 World Cup bid.
"Franz Beckenbauer was today provisionally banned from taking part in any football-related activity, at any level, for 90 days," said a statement released by football's governing body.
The 68-year-old Beckenbauer, who won the World Cup as a player in 1974 and then as a coach in 1990, was on the FIFA executive board in 2010 when the 2022 tournament was awarded to Qatar. He has always refused to say who he voted for.
Beckenbauer, known as the Kaiser, refused to cooperate with Michael Garcia the former US federal prosecutor who headed an investigation in the votes for the Qatar vote and another that awarded the 2018 World Cup to Russia.
An international spotlight has fallen on the investigation following allegations reported by the Sunday Times newspaper that a former Qatar football boss paid more than five million dollars to get support for the emirate's bid.
The ban against Beckenbauer remains largely symbolic as he no longer has any official role with FIFA or in German football. But because of his playing and coaching record and as a head of the German committee which organized the 2006 World Cup he remains very influential in international football.
In an interview with Bild newspaper published this week, Beckenbauer said he had nothing to hide, but that Garcia sent his questions in a legalese English that he did not understand.
"I then politely asked for the interview to take place in German, but I was refused," he added.