German football legend Franz Beckenbauer, who is being investigated over the 2006 World Cup scandal, is giving up his punditry work for Sky Deutschland, it was announced on Wednesday.
Having spent 25 years giving his views to Sky, ‘Der Kaiser’ will make his last appearance on air on Wednesday when Bayern Munich face Juventus in the second leg of their Champions League last 16 tie.
Beckenbauer, who captained and coached West Germany to the 1974 and 1990 World Cup titles respectively, was head of the organising committee for the 2006 finals.
The 70-year-old is one of several figures being investigated by both German and Swiss officials over allegations that the right to host the finals was bought by the Germans from world football’s governing body FIFA.
Beckenbauer has repeatedly denied both that any votes were bought and that he is guilty of any wrongdoing.
He lost his son, Stephan, who died last August at just 46 years of age after a long illness, and now wants to spend more time with his family.
“After the turbulent events in recent months, especially after the heavy private blows he has taken, it is the desire of Franz Beckenbauer, to have more time for himself and his family,” said Sky in a statement.
He says now is the right time to stop his punditry work.
“I am now 70 years of age, have been in the public eye for over 50 years and have travelled dozens of times around the world — whether as a player, coach or official,” said Beckenbauer.
“After so long, I want to treat myself to a break.”
Beckenbauer has been working with Sky Deutschland since they started broadcasting in 1991, when they were known as Premiere.
Carsten Schmidt, CEO of Sky Deutschland, said he respects Beckenbauer’s wish and takes his decision “with regret”.