FIFA Ethics Commission Opens Procedure Against Warner & Bin Hammam

May 25, 2011

Yesterday, May 24, FIFA Executive Committee member and CONCACAF General Secretary Chuck Blazer reported to FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke, possible violations of the FIFA Code of Ethics allegedly committed by officials.

In particular, the report referred to a special meeting of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU), apparently organised jointly by FIFA Vice-President Jack A. Warner and FIFA Executive Committee member Mohamed bin Hammam, which took place on 10 and 11 May. This meeting was linked to the upcoming FIFA presidential election.

In view of the facts alleged in this report, which include bribery allegations, FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke requested the FIFA Ethics Committee to open ethics proceedings. Subsequently, the FIFA Ethics Committee today, May 25, opened a procedure against both Warner, two CFU officials and Bin Hammam, whose presidency challenge is now well behind that of Sepp Blatter.

Meanwhile, the president of world soccer’s governing body FIFA has turned down a chance to appear before British MPs to explain his plans for reforming the body.

MPs on the Culture, Media and Sport committee recently made public, fresh corruption allegations involving six of FIFA’s Executive Committee and had invited the Swiss to attend one of its sessions but has been told this is not possible.

FIFA claimed that it is instead focusing on its own investigation into claims, contained in a Sunday Times submission to the committee, that two Executive Committee members were paid $1.5m to vote for Qatar 2022 and that a further four sought sweeteners to back England 2018.

A FIFA spokesman said that there was therefore “no need” for Blatter to attend the Committee.

The decision of Blatter was somewhat expected as it was a tall order to get the Swiss to visit London and appear before a Committee whose inquiry is supposed to be about the governance of the sport in the UK rather than globally.

Blatter recently accused the British media of sour grapes over England’s failure to secure the 2018 World Cup and just last week, the FA announced its abstention from the presidential vote next month.

Blatter, however, insists reforming FIFA is his top priority, a pledge he repeated in a round-table discussion last week and having already gained Executive Committee backing from five of soccer’s six continents, it seems Blatter will be re-elected come June 1.