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5 investigated in World Cup probe

28 November 2014, 10:18

Geneva - Five officials, including three long-serving FIFA executive committee members, are being investigated in the corruption probe into the bidding contests for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

A person familiar with the cases confirmed the names after the five were identified in European media reports.

The current FIFA board members under investigation are FIFA vice president Angel Maria Villar of Spain, Michel D'Hooghe of Belgium and Worawi Makudi of Thailand.

Villar and Makudi risk losing their FIFA seats within months as even provisional suspensions from all football duty can block them standing in scheduled confederation elections.

The others under suspicion are German great Franz Beckenbauer and Harold Mayne-Nicholls of Chile.

Beckenbauer was a FIFA voter when the board chose Russia to host the 2018 World Cup and Qatar secured the 2022 tournament. He was provisionally suspended during the World Cup in June for initially refusing to help Garcia's probe.


Mayne-Nicholls inspected the bids for FIFA ahead of the December 2010 polls and reportedly sought placements for family members at Qatar's influential Aspire youth academy.

FIFA ethics committee chair Michael Garcia and Joachim Eckert said last week "a number of formal cases" had been opened against unidentified individuals.

FIFA also referred Garcia's investigation report to Swiss federal prosecutors, adding to a sense of disarray about the wider World Cup investigation.

The probe was revived within days of Eckert trying to close the cases against Russia and Qatar — a decision Garcia quickly appealed to FIFA. in early May.

- AP


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