29 May 2011

Blatter misses final as ethics hearing looms

12:39 pm on 29 May 2011

The head of the International Football Association Sepp Blatter and election rival Mohamed bin Hammam kept a low profile as they prepare to face an ethics committee hearing which could determine whether the June 1 presidential vote can go ahead.

Blatter, standing for a fourth term as president of FIFA, dropped his planned trip to the Champions League final while challenger Bin Hammam opted not to release any further statements after claiming on Friday he was the victim of a "tawdry manoeuvre."

However, the head of the North, Central American and Caribbean Football, Jack Warner, who has also been summoned to appear before the committee later today, has predicted that a "football tsunami" is about to strike soccer's beleaguered world governing body.

All three men are being probed over a report by a FIFA insider relating to a meeting between Caribbean officials, Warner and Bin Hammam in Port of Spain earlier this month, linked to the election campaign.

The report said there had been possible violations of the ethics code including "bribery allegations".

If both candidates are provisionally suspended, the election would have to be cancelled.