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Oct 20, 2010

FIFA suspends officials over vote scandal

FIFA has provisionally suspended officials Amos Adamu of Nigeria and Reynald Temarii from Tahiti as it investigates allegations of World Cup vote-selling.

• FIFA steps up probe

British newspaper the Sunday Times alleged Adamu and Temarii offered to sell their votes for funding toward soccer projects and FIFA has announced that the pair will be barred from all football-related duty until the probe ends.

Four other FIFA officials - Slim Aloulou, Amadou Diakite, Ahongalu Fusimalohi and Ismael Bhamjee - have also been provisionally suspended from taking part in any football-related activity.

The ethics committee will meet again in mid-November to take a final decision ahead of the World Cup vote on December 2.

FIFA ethics committee chairman Claudio Sulser said: "The decision to provisionally suspend these officials is fully justified and should not be put in question.

"The evidence that has been presented to us today has led us to take this provisional measure, as we considered that the conditions were definitely met to take this decision and we deem that it is crucial to protect the integrity of the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup bidding process.

"We are determined to have zero tolerance for any breach of the code of ethics.''

FIFA president Sepp Blatter insisted that the world governing body is not corrupt but said there were "devils'' within football as in society.

Blatter told a news conference in Zurich: "It is a sad day for football because it's a sad day in life and you cannot have always sunny days.

"Our society is full of devils and these devils you find them in football. We have to fight for fair play, we have to fight for respect and especially we have to fight that the people in charge of FIFA behave as they should do and if this is not the case then we have to intervene.

"As the president of FIFA I appeal to and I expect all members not only of the FIFA executive committee but all members of the FIFA family to behave in an honest, sincere and respectful manner because football is based on discipline, respect, fair play and solidarity.

"These rules have to be abided by everybody in the football family. We have the necessary tools to intervene when necessary and that is what we have done today.

"I was a little bit surprised that you say is FIFA corrupt? Ladies and gentleman FIFA is actually in the world of sport a well recognised organisation and institution and if there are some activities that are against the ethics and the morals that's why the ethics committee came in.

"So let us do our job and clarify the situation and bring back credibility to football, and we do it now, we try to do it but you can never avoid in a game that have more than one billion fans that everybody behaves like we would like.

"Trust us and you will see confidence will be restored.''

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