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Fifa boss appears before ethics committee

Sepp Blatter, the Swiss head of Fifa, the world football governing body, has been appearing before a Fifa ethics committee hearing over corruption allegations.

Also taking part in Zurich is Mohamed bin Hammam who said on Sunday that he was withdrawing from Fifa's presidential election, where he was the only candidate standing against Blatter, just hours before the hearing.

Bin Hammam, from Qatar and head of Asian football, is accused of bribing Caribbean voters on a campaign visit. Blatter faces allegations of having ignored these alleged corruption attempts.
 
Fifa said on Sunday that there are individual hearings before the ethics panel, which has the power to suspend officials from football duties. It is expected to deliver its initial findings on Sunday evening.

Blatter, standing for a fourth term as head of football’s world governing body, has not commented on the proceedings but has said that the “facts will speak for themselves”. Bin Hammam has denied the allegations.
 
Meanwhile, Fifa vice president Jack Warner, who must also attend the hearing, has cautioned that a "football tsunami" would hit Fifa in the next few days.
 
The election for president is due to take place on Wednesday. In the 2007 vote, the 75-year-old Blatter was re-elected unopposed.
 
These latest accusations are the most recent in a series of bribery claims to hit Fifa. Previous allegations have led to the suspension of some Fifa officials.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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