By Daniel Etchells

Franz Beckenbauer is being investigated by the FIFA Ethics Committee ©Getty ImagesGermany's former World Cup-winning captain and coach Franz Beckenbauer is being investigated over his part in the selection of Russia and Qatar as World Cup hosts, as are three current members of the FIFA Executive Committee. 

Beckenbauer, who lifted the World Cup as West German captain in 1974 before repeating the feat as a manager in 1990, was one of the 22 men who voted on where the 2018 and 2022 events would be held in December 2010.

Spain's Ángel María Villar Llona, Belgium's Michel D'Hooghe and Thailand's Worawi Makudi have also had formal cases opened against them by FIFA's Ethics Committee.

Villar Llona, a former Spanish international footballer and now President of the Spanish Football Federation, was head of the unsuccessful joint bid from Spain and Portugal for the 2018 World Cup.

D'Hooghe admitted in August 2011 that he accepted an expensive painting from an adviser to Russia's successful 2018 World Cup bid, something he has since branded a "poisonous gift", while Makudi, a member of the Executive Committee since 1997, could be probed over his involvement in a gas deal between his country and Qatar shortly before the vote in 2010.

Also under investigation is Chile's Harold Mayne-Nicholls, a potential challenger to Sepp Blatter in next year's FIFA Presidential election, who led the FIFA Inspection Group that evaluated all nine candidates for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. 

Earlier this month, Hans-Joachim Eckert, chairman of the Adjudicatory Chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee, released a 42-page report summarising the two-year investigation of Michael Garcia, FIFA's chief ethics investigator, into potential corruption surrounding the vote.

Although this effectively closed the case against Russia and Qatar, Eckert made it clear that separate probes could still be opened against specific individuals.

Harold Mayne-Nicholls (right), who led the FIFA Inspection Group that evaluated all nine candidates for 2018 and 2022, is under investigation ©Getty ImagesHarold Mayne-Nicholls (right), who led the FIFA Inspection Group that evaluated all nine candidates for 2018 and 2022, is under investigation ©Getty Images

Beckenbauer, who has retired from FIFA after a long career in administration, was widely believed to have voted for Russia in 2018 and Australia in 2022.

The footballing icon was briefly censured for failing to comply with Garcia's investigation but the 90-day ban was lifted after he agreed to cooperate.

These most recent revelations surrounding world football's governing body follows the FIFA Ethics Committee's decision to ban former All India Football Federation (AIFF) secretary Alberto Colaco for three years on bribery charges, with effect from yesterday. 

FIFA said in a statement that Colaco "accepted a payment in the context of the elections" for Mohamed Bin Hammam's Executive Committee seat in 2009.

Qatari Bin Hammam beat Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa of Bahrain in an election marred by allegations of vote-buying from both candidates' supporters.

Sheikh Salman eventually won a FIFA board seat in May 2013 after Bin Hammam was banned for life by the Ethics Committee for financial wrongdoing involving Asian Football Confederation accounts.

Colaco was AIFF's first professional general secretary and had served two terms before retiring in September 2009.

"I was nominated to attend the FIFA elections in 2009 and the decision to vote for Mohamed Bin Hammam was taken by the AIFF," said Colaco.

"It was not my decision."

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]