FIFA have opened an investigation into the conduct of four officials – including FIFA vice-president Jack Warner and presidential candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam – in relation to bribery allegations made by executive committee member Chuck Blazer.
Blazer, who is the general secretary of the CONCACAF federation, has alleged that violations were committed under the FIFA code of ethics during a meeting organised by Bin Hammam and Warner on May 10 and 11 in relation to the upcoming FIFA presidential election, which takes place on June 1.
Bin Hammam is the president of the Asian Football Confederation and is running against Sepp Blatter to be the new president of the sport’s world governing body. A FIFA statement read: “On May 24, 2011, FIFA executive committee member and CONCACAF general secretary Chuck Blazer reported to FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke possible violations of the FIFA code of Ethics allegedly committed by officials.”
It added: “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 May 10 and 11 2011. 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 Jerome Valcke, in compliance with art. 16 of the FIFA code of ethics, yesterday requested the FIFA ethics committee to open ethics proceedings.”
Bin Hammam and Warner, along with CFU officials Debbie Minguell and Jason Sylvester, have been invited to be in position by Friday to attend a hearing in Zurich on Sunday (May 29).
The chairman of the ethics committee, Claudio Sulser, will not oversee the proceedings because he shares Swiss nationality with Bin Hammam’s presidential rival Blatter, and this could be construed as a conflict of interests.
The meeting will instead be chaired by the committee’s deputy chairman Petrus Damaseb of Namibia.