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Former Cosmos' player Franz Beckenbauer punished by FIFA

The German did not cooperate with a FIFA probe into the Russia and Qatar World Cup bids

Thorsten Wagner

Franz Beckenbauer is in the news today, as FIFA has decided to ban the football legend for refusing to cooperate with an ongoing investigation. Ethics prosecutor Michael Garcia has been investigating the bidding process which saw Russia awarded the 2018 World Cup, while Qatar has been awarded the event in 2022. Both winning bids have been surrounded in controversy.

Beckenbauer reportedly refused to answer questions, either in person or in writing, seeking information about the voting process. As of right now, he's the only individual that has been subject to FIFA sanctions.

What is also unclear is what exactly this sanction will do to Beckenbauer. His punishment is a suspension form all "football related activities", but it doesn't sound as if that will prevent him from taking in the World Cup in person. As he's largely a figurehead at this point anyway, this sounds more like a public tongue-lashing than an actual punishment.

Regardless, it's never good to hear former players or coaches being linked to this sort of thing. Hopefully this turns out to be nothing.