- Associated Press - Thursday, November 11, 2010

FRANKFURT, GERMANY (AP) - Franz Beckenbauer is giving up his seat on FIFA’s executive committee to devote more time to his family.

The former New York Cosmos star said Thursday he will not run again in 2011. In a statement, the 65-year-old said he wanted to travel less and spend more time with his family.

“I have had a very good time with my colleagues on the FIFA board,” Beckenbauer. “I ask for understanding over my decision.”

Beckenbauer’s four-year term runs out in the spring. His last function will be to take part in the election of World Cup hosts for 2018 and 2022 in Zurich on Dec. 2.

Beckenbauer claimed the seat on FIFA’s 24-member executive committee as a representative of Union of European Football Associations. His seat on the European federation will be filled in March.

Beckenbauer’s withdrawal leaves German football federation president Theo Zwanziger as the only German representative in a major soccer body, as a UEFA executive committee member.

After an illustrious career as captain of Germany’s team that won the 1974 World Cup and coach of the 1990 championship team, Beckenbauer headed the local organizing committee of the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

Beckenbauer stepped down as Bayern Munich president one year ago and has said he wants to scale down his public functions.

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