28 May 2011

Blatter to face investigation

8:34 am on 28 May 2011

The FIFA president Sepp Blatter will face an ethics investigation alongside his election rival Mohamed bin Hammam after football's governing body widened its inquiry into bribes-for-votes allegations.

In a move that sent shockwaves around the sporting world, FIFA said it was calling Blatter to appear at an ethics hearing on Monday, three days before the 75-year-old Swiss stands against challenger Bin Hammam in the election for the most powerful job in football.

Bin Hammam will also face the hearing at FIFA house, along with CONCACAF president Jack Warner and two Caribbean officials, and the outcome may determine whether the June the 1st election can go ahead as planned.

FIFA has been under pressure to clean up its act and become more transparent after two executive committee members were suspended last year after allegedly offering to sell their votes in the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosting contest to undercover newspaper reporters.

However, few observers could have expected anything as dramatic as this week's events.

The English FA, angry over its failed bid for the 2018 World Cup, had already announced it would abstain from voting for either candidate.