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Beckenbauer, Pele and Charlton Fail to Show Up for FIFA Panel Meeting

World Cup-winning captain and coach Franz Beckenbauer, the man heading a task-force responsible for suggesting ways to improve soccer, didn’t show up for its first meeting in Zurich today.

Brazil’s Pele and England’s Bobby Charlton, two other leading figures in the sport, also didn’t appear. Germany’s Beckenbauer was unwell, governing body FIFA said. It wasn’t able to say why three-time World Cup winner Pele and 1966 champion Charlton were absent.

FIFA’s Task Force 2014 is one of the core planks of Sepp Blatter’s bid to secure a fourth term as the organization’s president. It was slated to include 22 members, made up of former players and administrators.

Blatter set up the group after last year’s World Cup in South Africa. The tournament attracted criticism as not matching the level of performances seen in top European leagues and competitions such as the Champions League.

Soccer’s 208 nations will vote June 1 whether to retain Blatter or select his rival Mohamed Bin Hammam.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tariq Panja in Zurich at at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at

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