0

FIFA set hearing to decide whether officials took World Cup bribe

Photo by STEFFEN SCHMIDT

Photo by STEFFEN SCHMIDT

ZURICH -- The World Cup corruption scandal widened Monday when FIFA opened disciplinary proceedings against two executive committee members and said it was also investigating other officials and bidding countries.

FIFA ordered a formal ethics probe into allegations that two executive members offered to sell votes in the bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

The governing body urged its ethics committee to "act without delay" and "take all possible steps" in the investigation of Amos Adamu of Nigeria and Reynald Temarii of Tahiti.

Adamu and Temarii both told The Associated Press that the hearings will be held Wednesday.

FIFA said the two officials could face "provisional measures," or suspension.

Adamu and Temarii were filmed by undercover reporters from the Sunday Times newspaper asking for money for football-related projects.

FIFA said investigations were also under way into "other FIFA officials" who may have been involved.

FIFA did not name the officials, but former executive committee members Amadou Diakite and Slim Aloulou were quoted in the Sunday Times as advising how much money it would take to bribe FIFA voters.

FIFA also said it was investigating member associations and bid committees for alleged collusion. It did not name the countries, but said any agreements between associations would be a "clear violation" of bid and ethics rules.

FIFA said violators could also face "provisional measures.'"

FIFA's ruling executive will choose the two World Cup hosts in a secret ballot scheduled Dec. 2 in Zurich.

The 2018 race is now between four European candidates: England, Russia and joint bids from Belgium-Netherlands and Spain-Portugal. The 2022 contest is between the U.S., Australia, Japan, Qatar and South Korea.