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Manager: FIFA lifts Beckenbauer ban

AP - Sports

BERLIN (AP) -- FIFA has lifted Franz Beckenbauer's ban from all football-related activity for failing to help an investigation of alleged corruption in the 2018 and 2022 World Cup votes.

Football's governing body informed Beckenbauer on Friday that the ban was lifted with immediate effect, the German great's manager Marcus Hoefl said in a statement posted via his Twitter feed.

FIFA imposed the 90-day ban on June 13 at the request of ethics prosecutor Michael Garcia. Beckenbauer said at the time he was surprised by the ban, and received the questions only in complicated legal English.

Beckenbauer then pledged to answer the questions put to him in German and in writing, and his manager said on June 18 that the FIFA ethics committee received his answers to ''all its questions.''

FIFA said in a statement that Beckenbauer had been warned that sanctions could be re-imposed if there was ''a repetition or continuation of the conduct that led to the imposition of the provisional measure.''

Friday's statement from Hoefl said Beckenbauer's management team continued to believe the ban wasn't justified because he had no obligation to testify to FIFA, but said that with hindsight it would have been better for him to answer the questions earlier.

''I underestimated the matter,'' Beckenbauer said in the statement, adding that the main reason was ''such voluminous administrative things'' are usually dealt with by his management team, but in this case he was unable to involve it fully.

Hoefl's statement said, independently of the ban's lifting, Beckenbauer won't be traveling to the World Cup.

FIFA ''would love'' to have Beckenbauer as a guest in Brazil, secretary general Jerome Valcke said Friday.

''Franz is this high figure in football and someone we all respect,'' Valcke said at a briefing.

Beckenbauer was a voting member of FIFA's executive committee in December 2010 when it chose Russia as 2018 World Cup host and Qatar to stage the 2022 tournament.

He served on the committee from 2007-11, joining after he led Germany's organization of the 2006 World Cup.

Beckenbauer is an adviser to FIFA's football committee and a global ambassador for Bayern Munich.

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