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June 28, 2017

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I won't go to Brazil during FIFA ban: Beckenbauer

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil -- Franz Beckenbauer won't go to the World Cup in Brazil after being suspended by FIFA for refusing to cooperate with a corruption investigation.

"I presume I'm no longer welcome at FIFA," the German soccer great told Bild newspaper.

FIFA confirmed Saturday that Beckenbauer, who captained and coached West Germany to win World Cups, is barred from attending matches during his 90-day ban.

Beckenbauer is also barred from official duty as Bayern Munich's global ambassador and as a special adviser to FIFA's soccer committee.

FIFA's ethics committee suspended Beckenbauer on Friday for declining to help prosecutor Michael Garcia's probe of alleged corruption in the 2018 and 2022 World Cup votes. The case against him for non-cooperation is being investigated by a member of Garcia's ethics panel.

Beckenbauer was a voter on FIFA's board when it chose Russia and Qatar as World Cup hosts in December 2010.

He refused "repeated requests for his assistance, including requests that he provide information during an in-person interview or in response to written questions provided in both English and German," FIFA said Friday.

In a statement on Saturday, FIFA's deputy ethics judge Alan Sullivan clarified the terms of Beckenbauer's ban from "any football-related activity."

It includes "among other things, being invited to attend or attending on a private basis any soccer match in any capacity," said Sullivan, an Australian sports lawyer.

Beckenbauer can continue to work in Germany for the Sky Deutschland television network.

"When he is doing something in Munich in the studio, that should not be covered by" the ban, FIFA spokeswoman Delia Fischer said at a daily World Cup news conference.

Beckenbauer served on the FIFA board from 2007-11 after leading Germany's organization of the 2006 World Cup.

Garcia, a former U.S. Attorney, has said that next month he will deliver a dossier on the World Cup case, which FIFA critics hope will order a revote.

Beckenbauer is the first soccer official to be sanctioned as a result of Garcia's World Cup investigation.

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