Fifa president faces ethics probe amid bribe allegations
Sepp Blatter will answer charges that he knew about alleged cash payments, just days before Fifa election
Fifa president Sepp Blatter will appear before the world governing body’s ethics committee on Sunday to answer charges that he knew about alleged cash payments.
With Mohamed bin Hammam and vice-president Jack Warner already set to appear at Sunday’s hearing to answer charges of bribery, the Fifa president will now answer separate charges just days before the presidential election is due to take place in Zurich.
The move follows demands yesterday by presidential candidate Bin Hammam that the 75-year-old Swiss should also be investigated.
The organisation’s ethics committee must investigate any complaint made by an executive committee member, of which Bin Hammam is one, in accordance with their rules.
Blatter refused to comment, saying: “I cannot comment on the proceedings that have been opened against me today. The facts will speak for themselves.”
Bin Hammam and Warner face allegations from executive committee member Chuck Blazer that they offered bribes at a meeting of the Caribbean Football Union earlier this month.
A Fifa statement reads: “On 26 May 2011, Fifa executive committee member Mohamed bin Hammam has requested the Fifa ethics committee to open ethics proceedings against Fifa president Joseph S. Blatter on the basis that, in the report submitted by Fifa executive committee member Chuck Blazer earlier this week, FIFA Vice-President Jack A. Warner would have informed the Fifa president in advance about alleged cash payments to delegations attending a special meeting of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) apparently organised jointly by Jack A. Warner and Mohamed bin Hammam on 10 and 11 May 2011 and that the Fifa president would have had no issue with these.
Subsequently, the Fifa ethics committee today opened a procedure against the Fifa president in compliance with art. 16 of the Fifa code of ethics.
Joseph S. Blatter has been invited to take position by 28 May 2011, 11:00 CET and to attend a hearing by the Fifa ethics committee at the home of Fifa (Zurich) on 29 May 2011.
“No additional comments will be made by Fifa until further notice.”