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Beckenbauer targeted in Fifa ethics inquiry

German football hero Franz Beckenbauer has been named as one of five Fifa executive committee members being investigated for possible corruption by the football association's ethics board, it was reported on Thursday.

Beckenbauer targeted in Fifa ethics inquiry
Is the Kaiser tarnished? Photo: DPA

Beckenbauer was an executive committee (exco) member in 2010 when Fifa made the controversial announcement that Russia had been awarded the 2018 World Cup tournament and Qatar the games in 2022.

Last week, lead investigator Michael Garcia and Hans-Joachim Eckert, the German judge charing the ethics committee that Fifa set up to investigate itself, announced that they were looking into individual current and former exco members as part of its process.

Several media outlets are now reporting that Beckenbauer is among those being probed, including Angel Maria Villar Llona (Spain), Michel D'Hooghe (Belgium) and Thailand, as well as a former member from Chile.

Also under suspicion is prospective Fifa presidential candidate Harold Mayne-Nicholls, who was in charge of the pre-decision inspection of prospective hosts for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments.

There is no word yet on why Beckenbauer, who won the World Cup with West Germany in 1976 and again in 1990 as manager, has come under Garcia's gaze.

According to Die Welt, which credits "Fifa insiders", Llona has refused to cooperate with the Fifa investigation. He has refused to answer questions about events before and after the vote that took place in Zurich in December 2010 – events which may have violated Fifa's ethical standards.

After the decision was made, D'Hooge's son was given a job at a Qatari hospital, the Telegraph reported, though the Belgian told BBC Sport that "I was and am convinced that my answers completely clarified the whole situation, the more that I have nothing to hide."

Earlier this month, Eckert released a summary report into the investigation, which was blasted by Garcia as "incomplete and erroneous".

In last week's joint statement, the adjudicatory chamber of Fifa's ethics committee said it would submit its conclusions to Fifa's audit and compliance committee. It would then be up to its head, Domenico Scala, to decide how much will be released.

On Friday, Bayern Munich's president Karl Hopfner added his voice to the chorus of those who want to see the whole report into the investigation that has so far lasted the better part of two years and cost around €7.5 million.

"If there is evidence that (the 2022 World Cup in Qatar) tournament was awarded in a suspicious manner, than the Fifa executives should decide: We cannot play a World Cup herem," he told the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Fifa President Sepp Blatter has been insistent that the report cannot be published in full for legal reasons.

SEE ALSO: Fifa ethics report 'wrong', says investigator

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FOOTBALL

British football teams allowed to skip Germany’s quarantine for Euro 2020

Germany's government announced on Tuesday it will allow England, Scotland and Wales to enter the country without quarantine to play at Euro 2020 despite a recent rise in cases linked to the Delta variant of Covid-19 in Britain.

British football teams allowed to skip Germany's quarantine for Euro 2020
One of the venues for Euro 2020 is in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sven Hoppe

The three teams could potentially reach the quarter-final held in Munich on July 2nd.

If that were the case, they would be exempt from the rule that travellers from the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland must currently observe a 14-day isolation period due to the virus strain of concern – Delta – first identified in India.

“The people accredited for the European football Championship are exempt from the quarantine obligation, even after arriving from an area impacted by a variant” Berlin said in a statement.

“This exemption concerns all the people who have been accredited by the organising committee for the preparation, participation, the holding and the follow-up of international sporting events,” it added.

The exemption does not include fans, who will be obliged to follow German government self-isolation rules.

Germany declared the UK a ‘virus variant area of concern’ on May 23rd due to rising cases linked to the Delta variant in parts of the country. 

READ ALSO: Germany makes UK ‘virus variant area of concern’: How does it affect you?

This reclassification came just seven days after the UK was put back on Germany’s list at the lowest risk level, and barely a month after it was taken off all risk lists completely.

The ban was put in place despite the UK’s relatively low Covid rates as a precautionary measure.

A general ban on entry is in place for people coming from countries on the ‘virus variant’ list – such as India and Brazil – the highest of Germany’s risk categories. 

There are some exceptions for entering from these countries – for example German residents and citizens. However, anyone who does enter from Germany is required to submit a Covid-19 test before boarding the flight and must quarantine for 14 days on arrival, regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated or not.

READ ALSO: Germany’s new relaxed quarantine and testing rules after travel

Euro 2020 starts on Friday as Italy host Turkey in Rome with the Bavarian city hosting three group games as well as the last-eight match.

Around 14,000 fans will be allowed into the Allianz Arena for the fixtures.

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