Change coming soon to FIFA

Updated: 2011-08-30 07:52

(China Daily)

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Change coming soon to FIFA

ULRICHEN, Switzerland - After a year of scandal that has rocked world football, FIFA President Sepp Blatter said on Sunday that he will present detailed anti-corruption reforms in October.

Blatter told The Associated Press he will announce his reform agenda after an Oct. 20-21 meeting in Zurich with his executive committee colleagues - several of whom have been under suspicion.

"I will announce a road map of where we go and when we go," Blatter said, on the sidelines of his charitable foundation's annual football tournament.

Blatter promised to clean up world football when he was re-elected unopposed in June to get a fourth and final four-year presidential term.

His former election rival Mohamed bin Hammam withdrew amid allegations he tried to bribe Caribbean voters. The Qatari is appealing a life ban imposed by FIFA's ethics committee.

The bribery scandal also exiled FIFA vice president Jack Warner, the Trinidad and Tobago government minister who resigned rather than face football's justice.

FIFA is investigating 16 Caribbean officials for allegedly accepting $40,000 cash payments and has warned that more cases could follow.

"I'm very disappointed and very sad," Blatter said of the Caribbean region's damaged reputation. "They are part of FIFA and I'm very concerned about that."

Two more FIFA executive members, Amos Adamu and Reynald Temarii, were suspended last November after allegations of vote-trading in the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bid races.

Several more of Blatter's colleagues, who will vote on approving his reforms, have survived unproven allegations concerning bribes, unethical favors and vote-trading deals.

"It was a very difficult year," Blatter acknowledged, seeming relaxed and assured on a sunny day in his family's ancestral Alpine village, where the charity event was decorated with discreet "Bravo Sepp" banners.

"Now I am working on different items and I will present to the executive committee of FIFA during the meeting," he said.

Associated Press

(China Daily 08/30/2011 page22)