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Uli Hoeness seeks to return as Bayern Munich president

Ulrich Hoeness Appears In Court Accused Of Tax Evasion - Day 2

MUNICH, GERMANY - MARCH 11: President of Bayern Muenchen Ulrich Hoeness stands during Hoeness’ trial for tax evasion in the courtroom of the Higher Regional Court on March 11, 2014 in Munich, Germany. Hoeness is accused of tax evasion by siphoning more than 33million Euros into a Swiss bank account. (Photo by Joerg Koch-Pool/Getty Images)

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MUNICH (AP) -- Uli Hoeness has decided to run for Bayern Munich’s presidency, seeking to return to a job that he gave up in 2014 after being given a prison sentence for tax evasion, the Bundesliga champion said Monday.

Hoeness, 64, will be a candidate for the job when club members elect the president at their annual general meeting in November, Bayern said. It added that current president Karl Hopfner agreed not to seek re-election in what it termed “very pleasant talks” with Hoeness.

Bayern’s announcement followed weeks of speculation that Hoeness, one of the most prominent figures in German soccer, would return to the helm at the club.

As a player, Hoeness was a Bayern star who won the 1972 European Championship and the 1974 World Cup with West Germany and three straight European Cups - the predecessor of the Champions League - before retiring in 1979 with chronic knee problems.

Under his guidance as general manager, Bayern built financial reserves rarely seen in debt-ridden European soccer.

Hoeness quit as Bayern president in March 2014 after he was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison for evading millions of euros in taxes via an undeclared Swiss bank account. He was released in February after serving half of the sentence.

Hoeness has remained close to the club. While in custody, he benefited from a work-release program under which he worked in Bayern’s youth department during the day before returning to prison overnight.