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Fifa open investigation against Germany legend Beckenbauer

Franz Beckenbauer is being investigated. Credit: PA

Germany football legend Franz Beckenbauer is under investigation by American attorney Michael Garcia along with Harold Mayne-Nicholls from Chile, who headed the inspection team which compiled reports into the countries bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

The investigations come after Garcia stated "a number of individuals" have had formal cases opened against them.

Fifa members under investigation following Garcia report

Angel Maria Villar Llona is one of the members being investigated. Credit: PA

Three current Fifa executive committee members - Spain's Angel Maria Villar Llona, Michel D'Hooghe from Belgium and Worawi Makudi from Thailand - are under investigation by ethics chief Michael Garcia following his probe into World Cup bidding, Press Association Sport understands.

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SFO mulling UK criminal probe into Fifa corruption claims

The Serious Fraud Office has reportedly confirmed it is actively seeking evidence related to Fifa's World Cup corruption probe and is inviting whistleblowers to come forward.

According to letters seen by The Daily Telegraph, the SFO said it was pursuing "every reasonable line of inquiry" to decide whether it can open an investigation into the allegations of unlawful conduct during the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter has rejected FA chairman Greg Dyke's call to publish the Garcia report into allegations of corruption in World Cup bidding, claiming it would break Fifa rules and Swiss law. Credit: Adam Davy/PA Wire

Fifa, which faced worldwide criticism for its handling of an inquiry into the bids, last week announced it has lodged a criminal complaint with the Swiss attorney general regarding "possible misconduct of individual persons" in connection with the bids.

Regarding the potential for a Serious Fraud Office inquiry, a spokesperson confirmed to ITV News:

There is no information which has so far been brought to the SFO’s attention that shows that the UK criminal courts would accept jurisdiction. We continue to monitor the situation and to keep the jurisdictional position under review.

– Serious Fraud Office spokesperson

Sony decides against renewing FIFA sponsorship

Sony has been a FIFA sponsor for eight years. Credit: Reuters

Sony does not plan to renew its sponsorship contract with FIFA, as the Japanese electronics maker needs to prioritise its restructuring efforts, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Such a move would follow Emirates Airline's announcement this month that it was ending its sponsorship of FIFA, a blow to the governing body as it investigates whether there was corruption in the bidding process for the next two World Cup competitions.

Sony has been a FIFA sponsor for the eight years to 2014 in a contract worth £180m.

Sony on Tuesday said it was aiming to restructure its television and mobile divisions further, while targeting robust growth for its electronics devices division, which houses its growing image sensors business.

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Coca-Cola criticises 'disappointing' Fifa World Cup report

Coca-Cola have hit out at Fifa over the handling of a controversial report into how the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments were awarded.

Ethics investigator Michael Garcia disagreed with the conclusions reached by German judge Hans-Joachim Eckert, whose report exonerated the bids made by Qatar and Russia for the respective tournaments.

Coca-Cola hit out over the World Cup report. Credit: Reuters

The drinks company, which is one of Fifa's longest-standing and biggest sponsors, issued a statement criticising the furore:

Anything that detracts from the mission and ideals of the Fifa World Cup is a concern to us. The current conflicting perspectives regarding the investigation are disappointing. Our expectation is that this will be resolved quickly in a transparent and efficient manner.

– Coca-Cola spokesman

Fifa ignored 'hard cash' claims says former member

A Fifa executive committee member was reported to the world governing body's ethics committee after asking for "hard cash" in return for votes during bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup - but no action was taken, it has been claimed.

Les Murray, an Australian who was on the Fifa ethics committee at the time, claims he reported the request to his superiors after being informed of it by people working for the Australia 2022 bid.

It is thought the member in question asked for $5million in order to build a sports centre in exchange for his vote.

Fifa is currently embroiled in scandal. Credit: PA

Murray wrote on his SBS blog: "Three years ago, when I was still on the FIFA ethics committee, I was informed by sources inside the Australian bid team that a member of the FIFA executive committee was asking the Australians for hard cash in return for votes.

"I reported this information up the chain of the ethics committee at the time, as was my duty, but I see no mention of it in Eckert's report."

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