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IOC calls for clean sports following FIFA scandals

05-12-2011 17:05 BJT

GENEVA - Sports leaders must fight against corruption to prevent the type of bribery scandal shaking football's governing body FIFA, IOC President Jacques Rogge said Wednesday.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter addresses a news conference at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich,
May 9, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

Rogge said that English allegations about six senior FIFA officials - a quarter of the 24-man executive committee - receiving or demanding bribes for their World Cup votes are bad for the image of world sport.

The International Olympic Committee leader called on sports bodies to work "on both fronts" to tackle corruption on and off the field of play.

"We have to fight against that. We have absolutely to make sure that sport on the management level is clean and also sport on the athletic level is clean," Rogge said on the sidelines of a United Nations conference on achieving peace through sports.

"In terms of the champions, there is always the threat of doping. In terms of management of sport, there is the threat of unethical practices."

Rogge stressed that claims the 2018 and 2022 World Cup votes last December were marred by ethical misconduct must be backed "by solid proof."

The IOC has asked for its ethics commission to receive any evidence of wrongdoing by FIFA vice president and IOC member Issa Hayatou.

Hayatou of Cameroon and Jacques Anouma of the Ivory Coast were allegedly paid $1.5 million to vote for 2022 candidate Qatar, according to evidence submitted to the British Parliament by the Sunday Times newspaper. Qatar won the vote, beating the United States in the final round.

The Qatar football federation denied the allegations, calling them "wholly unreliable."

Hayatou, the president of the Confederation of African Football, "categorically denies" the claims, the African body said Wednesday.

The IOC dealt with its own bribery scandal in 1999, with 10 members expelled or forced to resign over allegations of vote-buying during Salt Lake City's winning bid for the 2002 Winter Olympics.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter, who's also an IOC member, was not accused of corruption in the British Parliamentary inquiry hearing on Tuesday when new allegations surfaced.

Blatter asked for evidence to be sent to the FIFA ethics committee and promised immediate action if wrongdoing could be proved.

Blatter has made zero tolerance of corruption a central theme of his June 1 re-election contest against Qatar's Mohamed bin Hammam, and put distance between himself and those under suspicion.

"I cannot say they are all angels or they are all devils," Blatter said. "It is my government but my government is not designated by the president. They are coming from the (confederations)."

Bin Hammam played a key role in delivering the 2022 World Cup to his homeland of Qatar. "FIFA is not corrupted," the Asian Football Confederation President said. "We are victims of the popularity of the game."


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