19 Oct 2010

FIFA begins probe into vote-selling claim

8:19 am on 19 October 2010

FIFA has begun its investigation into allegations that two executive committee members had offered to sell votes in the in the contest to host the 2018 World Cup.

In a statement, soccer's governing body said it had "opened proceedings against two current members of the executive committee to ascertain whether they have violated the code of ethics."

"(FIFA) has asked the chairman of the ethics committee to act without delay to take all possible steps including the possibility of provisional measures, should the relevant conditions be met," the statement added.

"Investigations are also ongoing in relation to other FIFA officials who may have been involved in the issue in question."

Britain's Sunday Times newspaper said that the offers had been made to its reporters who were working undercover.

The paper alleged Oceania Football Confederation president Reynald Temarii from Tahiti wanted money for a sports academy and Amos Adamu of Nigeria was filmed asking for money for a personal project.

Both men have denied wrong-doing.

FIFA is due to announce on 2 December which countries will host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups with the 24-strong executive committee deciding both venues on a majority vote.

England and Russia are bidding for the 2018 finals along with joint bids from Spain/Portugal and Belgium/Netherlands.

The candidates for 2022 are the United States, Japan, South Korea, Qatar and Australia.