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FIFA investigates WC corruption

Source: The Telegraph
Sunday, March 23, 2014

ZURICH - Sepp Blatter admits ethics committee is examining Telegraph disclosures that FIFA's former vice-president Jack Warner was paid £720,000 ($F2,219m)five days after Qatar was awarded 2022 World Cup.

FIFA has acknowledged new corruption allegations relating to the 2022 World Cup ballot disclosed by the Telegraph this week.

After failing to comment for three days, a statement by the head of its ethics committee Michael Garcia was read out at a press conference in Zurich.

It said: "The ethics committee is aware of the material identified in the article.

"As with all allegations of misconduct by football officials the ethics committee will take whatever action it deems is appropriate.

"More than that at that stage we cannot say and so there is no need to ask again."

Garcia has been in Zurich to interview the remaining FIFA executive committee members who voted in the controversial 2010 ballot that awarded Russia and Qatar the 2018 and 2022 World Cup.

In a press conference, Blatter was asked four times about the Telegraph's disclosures and each time refused to comment.

He said: "I'm happy that now we have an independent committee for ethics. this is a matter now to be dealt with this committee.

"You have listened to a statement that the chair of the committee has made. And I'm not going to make any comments on that."

Blatter also said he had been assured the state of Qatar now had the "will" to tackle its workers' rights issue.

"Now there is a magnifying glass over Qatar looking into what they're doing."

The press conference follows a week in which a Telegraph investigation led to Prime Minister David Cameron labelling the World Cup outcome as "sorted" before we went into it" and the former chairman of England's World Cup bid Lord Triesman branding FIFA "corrupt".

The Telegraph disclosed on Tuesday that Jack Warner, the former vice-president of FIFA, appears to have been personally paid $1.2 million (£720,000) from a company controlled by former Qatari football official and executive committee member Mohamed Bin Hammam — just five days after the decision to award Qatar the 2022 tournament.

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