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Top FIFA officials in corruption inquiry

Soccer's governing body has opened an investigation into bribery allegations against FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed bin Hammam and Jack Warner, the official responsible for the sport in North and Central America.

The ethics committee's probe comes out of a complaint to FIFA's general secretary Jerome Valcke by Chuck Blazer, a US- based official who sits with Mr Warner and mr Bin Hammam on the governing body's decision-making executive body.

Bin Hammam denied the allegations.

The news is the latest blow to the Zurich-based organisation's reputation. It's already investigating corruption claims against six officials who voted during the bidding races for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Mr Bin Hammam, Mr Warner and two officials from the Caribbean Football Union have been asked to attend a hearing with FIFA's ethics committee.

The statement said Mr Blazer wrote to Mr Valcke yesterday and said the officials violated FIFA's ethics code at specially organised meeting between the Caribbean Football Union and Mr Bin Hammam earlier this month.

"In view of the facts alleged in this report, which include bribery allegations" Mr Valcke called for the investigation, FIFA said.

Mr Bin Hammam, a 62-year-old Qatari, said the allegations were "little more than a tactic being used by those who have no confidence in their own ability to emerge successfully from the FIFA presidential election".

The hearing is scheduled for May 29. (Bloomberg)

Irish Independent