Blatter plans anti-corruption committee
Sepp Blatter has revealed that FIFA will form an anti-corruption committee in the wake of damaging allegations of bribery and vote-rigging during last month's World Cup summit.
FIFA executive committee members Amos Adamu and Reynald Temarii were banned from taking part in any kind of football-related activity following a corruption probe prior to December's vote and there were also claims of collusion between World Cup bidding nations Spain/Portugal and Qatar.
FIFA president Blatter was also heavily criticised after the executive committee voted to award the 2018 World Cup to Russia and, more controversially, the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.
Blatter has now revealed FIFA will put together an anti-corruption body aimed at improving the image of world football's governing body.
"This committee will strengthen our credibility and give us a new image in terms of transparency," Blatter told Swiss newspaper Sonntags Zeitung. "I will take care of it personally, to ensure there is no corruption at FIFA."
The committee will reportedly consist of up to nine members from both the world of sport and beyond. Blatter will not be among the committee members himself.
While Adamu and Temarii's suspensions drew the main headlines, FIFA's investigation revealed more widespread concerns with four other officials - all former executive committee members - also banned.
Nigeria's Adamu became the first FIFA member ever to be suspended for bribery when he was banned for three years and fined 10,000 Swiss francs by the body's ethics committee, though he vowed to appeal.
Adamu was found guilty of asking for money in return for his World Cup vote after he asked undercover Sunday Times investigators to channel cash for a project through a family company.
Fellow executive committee member Temarii, of Tahiti, was suspended for a year and fined 5,000 Swiss francs for breaching rules on loyalty and confidentiality, something he also denied.
The other officials sanctioned were Ismael Bhamjee of Botswana, who was handed a four-year ban, Amadou Diakite of Mali and Ahongalu Fusimalohi of Tonga who were suspended for three years, and Tunisian official Slim Aloulou who was suspended for two years.
All four were also fined 10,000 Swiss francs.
There were also fears that the investigation held by the Sunday Times and allegations made by BBC's Panorama programme may have damaged England's chances of hosting the 2018 World Cup, before they ultimately missed out to Russia.
Ethics committee chairman Claudio Sulser - who admitted that the scandal had caused "great damage" to FIFA's image - said no evidence had been found of the collusion claims between Qatar and the joint Spain and Portugal bid, but confirmed that Spain's executive committee member Angel Villar-Llona and Qatar's Mohamed Bin Hammam had only been contacted by letter and not interviewed in person.