Former FIFA executive committee member Franz Beckenbauer called Tuesday for the organization to publish the results of a corruption investigation on the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding processes. The legendary German soccer figure left the executive committee in 2010 after it awarded Russia the 2018 tournament and Qatar the 2022 tournament.
“Personally there’s nothing to hide,” Beckenbauer said at Qatar’s International Center for Security Sport conference in London, according to the Associated Press. “If you have nothing to hide you can publish and divulge it."
FIFA President Sepp Blatter has resisted calls to publish the results of ethics prosecutor Michael Garcia’s probe, which began after a Sunday Times report said former FIFA executive Mohamed bin Hammam bribed top soccer officials with $5 million to support Qatar’s bid for the 2022 World Cup. Blatter claims that an ethics code prevents FIFA from making the report public, despite Garcia’s request that the organization do so.
Beckenbauer, who still serves as a special adviser to the executive committee, reiterated that he never accepted or received a bribe to vote for a certain country. “Nobody offered me anything in order to influence my vote. No. This did not happen,” he said. “As far as the vote is concerned I can’t say anything because it was a secret ballot and I have to observe this agreement made at the time.”
In addition, he questioned whether Qatar’s planned cooling systems will be sufficient to protect fans and players from the arid nation’s extreme summer temperatures. The World Cup is typically held in the summer, but Qatar organizers have said that the tournament can be held at any time of the year.
“I was surprised Qatar won,” Beckenbauer said. “In the summer it’s not possible to play football there despite the fact Qatar developed a system of cooling the stadiums in order to create more comfortable temperatures. Technically speaking it’s possible, but is it necessary? It wastes a lot of energy … my suggestion would be to play in the winter.”
Garcia requested in June that Beckenbauer receive a 90-day suspension for refusing to cooperate with investigators in connection to the corruption probe. The ban was lifted after Beckenbauer agreed to answer questions.