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Beckenbauer faces new questions

Franz Beckenbauer is facing more scrutiny of his part in the awarding of the 2018 World Cup to Russia.

Beckenbauer, who won the World Cup with West Germany as both a player and a coach, was a member of the FIFA executive committee at the time of the vote.

A report on German TV network ARD has alleged that he had been linked with an ambassadorial role at a Russian energy company in 2010, the year the vote took place.

In 2012, he was named sports ambassador for gas company Gazprom, in which the Russian government has a majority stake. At that point, the company had strong ties with Germany as the main sponsor for Schalke 04.

In the ARD report, followed up in AZ, Bonita Mersiades -- who had worked for Australia's 2022 campaign -- claimed she had first heard about the Gazprom role two years earlier.

"I recall that Mr Beckenbauer was named an ambassador for Gazprom in 2012 -- the media covered that," she said. "But the first time I heard about it was about two years before that at the 2010 World Cup."

In June 2010, British paper the Daily Mail had reported: "Further evidence of Beckenbauer's Russian links is the suggestion that he will become an ambassador of Russia's state-owned oil giant Gazprom, who are backing Russia's 2018 campaign."

According to Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Beckenbauer was one of 13 FIFA executive members to vote for the 2018 World Cup to be awarded to Russia.

Speaking to Bild earlier this month, Beckenbauer said he had nothing to hide and had no business ties with Gazprom, adding: "I don't have any contract with Gazprom, but my management has one with the Russian Gas Society." The Russian Gas Society is a non-profit partnership of oil and gas industry companies of which Gazprom is a member.

"That [the Russian Gas Society contract] had nothing to do with the awarding process -- I didn't even know the people back then. The discussion is nonsense. By the way, for 2018 there was also a recommendation from the international circle of the DFB [to vote for Russia]," he added.

Earlier this month, world football's governing body provisionally banned him from taking part in any football-related activity for 90 days after he failed to co-operate with an investigation, forcing him to cancel a trip to the World Cup in Brazil.

Beckenbauer has since co-operated with FIFA's chief ethics investigator Michael Garcia, answering questions about his part in the bid contest.

He had originally said he could not understand the questions, which were written in legal English, and that his request for an interview in German had been turned down.

But last week his management said on Twitter that he had now answered the ethics committee's questions "by mail and fax."

On Wednesday, though, Beckenbauer's management said on Twitter that their client had now answered the ethics committee's questions "by mail and fax."