Approving of some harsh punitive measures, such as Yemen's suspension from the organisation, FIFA officials on Tuesday said that a new For the Good of the Game Task Force was a primary initiative to purge the game of corruption.

Top officials said the task force was going to come down hard on political interference, multi-club ownership, corruption, betting and bribery.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter said: "Football has a lot of problems to tackle ... we need to counter these risks. We need to be aware of these dangers. Where there is smoke there is fire and we need to put out the fires."

Flexing muscle

The first congress to be held on African soil in the organisation's 101-year history, FIFA members demonstrated their newfound resolve to fight corruption by backing an August decision to suspend Yemen.

In a statement, FIFA blamed Yemen's Ministry for Sport and Youth for political interference and its disrespect for the association's "principles of independence, democracy and due process for its member associations".

Yemen's minister for sport, Abd al-Rahman al-Akwa, told national media that the ministry was yet to be informed officially of the decision, but he rejected any implications of impropriety.

FIFA's measures are aimed at
solving soccer-related problems

Blatter also listed a series of serious ills threatening FIFA's reputation, ending with the unresolved problem of its relationship with Wada, the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Betting bane

The world body has also had to deal with criticism over irregular betting patterns in matches.

The FIFA president said the new task force would report directly to the executive committee, and one of the strategies to be used by the new body will be to set up an early-warning system to detect match-fixing.
 
But Blatter added that some of the blame for the difficulties facing football should be dealt with by the top European clubs.

"There is a movement in club football ... [that] leads us to conclude the rich are getting richer and they are using everything in the market to create an exodus from Africa," he said.