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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Sep, 15, 2006

Olympic hero Coe heads FIFA ethics board

Sebastian Coe is to be the first chairman of FIFA's new independent watchdog in a surprise appointment by football's world governing body.

Lord Coe, chairman of the London 2012 Olympics, has agreed to head FIFA's new ethics commission that will judge all cases alleging conflicts of interest and breaches of FIFA rules.

The former Olympic runner will avoid having to deal with the World Cup ticket scandal that has engulfed FIFA vice-president Jack Warner, a staunch supporter of president Sepp Blatter, as the ethics commission will only rule on new cases.

Warner's case will now be investigated by FIFA's disciplinary committee.

Blatter told a news conference in Zurich: 'We have found an outstanding personality in the world of sport, a great personality in the Olympic movement. Sebastian Coe will be the chairman of this committee.

'He has total integrity and will have total independence.

'To have someone from outside of football means he has no links with the football family and he has an ethical approach to sport.

'It is perhaps a surprise but it has been very well received.'

Coe said in a statement: 'I am delighted to have been selected to this important role.

'Inspiring young people into sport is a personal passion of mine. To do this, we must protect and promote the ethics and morals of sport for future generations.

'My role as chairman of London 2012, as IAAF Council member, as a member of UK Athletics Council and as chair of FIFA's ethics committee, will involve me in this area at the very highest level of sport.'

The announcement that Coe and the new ethics commission will not be called upon to deal with the Warner case may come as something of a relief.

Warner, a FIFA vice-president from Trinidad and Tobago, was this week revealed to have been identified by FIFA's auditors as being involved in the sale of World Cup tickets for several times their face value - a clear breach of FIFA rules.

FIFA general secretary Urs Linsi told the news conference: 'Certain numbers of tickets have been sold for a value four times higher, but that's what has to be investigated and found out by looking at the books of the stakeholders. That's something the disciplinary committee will have to work on.'

Warner is understood to have prepared a case alleging he is the innocent victim of a campaign.

It is now the first time he has been involved in allegations about making a profit out of his position - he escaped censure in March despite FIFA ruling he was guilty of a clear conflict of interest.

Warner, a special adviser to the Trinidad and Tobago FA, broke the code of conduct after his family's travel company, Simpaul, secured exclusive rights to sell his country's entire World Cup ticket allocation.

Warner told FIFA that he and his wife had sold their shares in Simpaul and had no idea he had violated any rules.

In the 1980s and 1990s Warner obtained FIFA's TV rights for the Caribbean for a pittance and then sold them on to broadcasters.

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