FIFA investigating 11 officials including Franz Beckenbauer and head of Spanish FA
Last Updated: 21/10/15 6:49pm
FIFA has confirmed it is investigating 11 of its own officials, including Sepp Blatter, Michel Platini, Franz Beckenbauer and the head of the Spanish FA, Angel Maria Villar Llona.
Blatter and Platini are currently suspended for 90 days over a deferred payment made between them - a judgement they are appealing - while secretary general Jerome Valcke has also been banned on suspicion of misuse of expenses.
But two new names have now been thrust into the spotlight - the Germany legend Beckenbauer and Spain's football head Villar - who both refused to co-operate with the investigations into the bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
Beckenbauer, 68, was on the executive committee which awarded the 2022 finals to Qatar but claimed last year that FIFA's chief investigator Michael J Garcia had "no power whatsoever" to make him comply to his probe into the controversial 2010 decision.
Beckenbauer also headed the organising committee for the 2006 World Cup in Germany and was forced to reject allegations in his home country on Sunday that a slush fund was set up to buy the votes to host the tournament.
Villar, who has been head of the Spanish FA since 1988, is the second-most powerful man at UEFA behind Platini and replaced the Frenchman on Tuesday as interim chairman of the 2018 World Cup organising committee.
Villa also led the unsuccessful joint-bid between Spain and Portugal to host the World Cup in 2018, which was given to Russia.
A statement on Wednesday confirmed that "proceedings relating to the two officials Angel María Villar Llona and Franz Beckenbauer have already been passed on to the adjudicatory chamber".
Beckenbauer and Villar Llona had not been publicly named before as under investigation but a change in the ruling on Tuesday means FIFA's ethics committee can now reveal details of cases that are ongoing.
FIFA also confirmed that "formal investigation proceedings relating to the suspicion of infringements of the FIFA Code of Ethics are among others ongoing against Worawi Makudi, Jeffrey Webb, Ricardo Teixeira, Amos Adamu, Eugenio Figueredo and Nicolas Leoz".
All six are former FIFA executive committee members, and Makundi, Webb, Figueredo and Leoz were arrested on corruption allegations in June this year.
Teixeira was the former head of the Brazilian FA until 2012 and was also indicted by the FBI on corruption allegations in June, while Adamu was banned for three years by FIFA in 2010 after being found guilty of breaching bribery rules.
The ethics committee statement on Wednesday said: "The investigatory chamber shall examine all circumstances of the cases equally. In this sense, all parties are presumed innocent until a decision has been passed by the adjudicatory chamber."
In relation to the on-going investigation into the £1.35m payment made by Blatter to Platini in 2011, the statement said: "The investigatory chamber will do everything in its power to ensure that a decision can be taken by the adjudicatory chamber of the ethics committee, chaired by Hans-Joachim Eckert, within the 90-day suspension period [which began on 8 October 2015] of the two football officials."