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[June 28, 2014]
Kaiser is back in favour at top table [Evening Times (Glasgow, Scotland)]
(Evening Times (Glasgow, Scotland) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) A 90-day provisional ban by Fifa on World Cup-winning player and coach Franz Beckenbauer has been lifted after only 15 days with world football's governing body saying the German was now welcome at the tournament.
German football association president Wolfgang Niersbach welcomed the move and said he could not understand why Fifa had taken such a drastic step in the first place against someone who had done so much for the game.
Beckenbauer had been banned two weeks ago after refusing to co- operate with an investigation into the award of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.
The 68-year-old is a former member of the Fifa executive committee which controversially awarded the World Cup to Qatar in 2010, and had received "repeated requests" to provide information, Fifa said in a statement at the time of the ban.
Beckenbauer has since had a change of heart and offered to provide responses to the questions which he had initially rejected because they were written in "legalese English." Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke said that Beckenbauer could now attend the tournament he graced as a player with West Germany.
Beckenbauer has, however, indicated he has no plans to come to the tournament.
"As you know Franz is someone we all respect and was an amazing footballer and we would love him to have him here at the World Cup, even more because his national team is playing in the second round," Valcke said.
"But it is his decision not to come to Brazil and that is the truth of the matter," he added.
Beckenbauer's manager Markus Hoefl had earlier announced the end of the ban, saying it had been unjust but conceding that it would have been better had the former player answered the questions posed to him by the commission earlier.
DFB president Niersbach said Fifa's ban was an over-reaction.
"It was completely incomprehensible to me why such a ban was issued on the second day of a World Cup," he said. "Perhaps Franz made a formal mistake but still that's not the proper way to treat someone who has done so much for football all around the world." (c) 2014 ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved.
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