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Football
The men at the heart of the FIFA probe
A look at the people who find themselves at the centre of the football bribery scandal.
Last Modified: 29 May 2011 19:12
Bin Hammam, right, pulled out of the race for the FIFA presidency following the bribery accusations [GALLO/GETTY]

Football's world governing body has been thrown into turmoil by accusations of corruption against some of its officials. A FIFA ethics committee met in Zurich to examine the claims.

Al Jazeera looks at the key figures who have found themselves in the middle of the scandal.

Mohamed Bin Hammam, AFC president

Bin Hammam was to stand as a candidate for the FIFA presidency this month, but pulled out of the race ahead of the ethics committee's investigation.

He faces bribery allegations that spring from a report that he allegedly offered $40,000 in cash gifts in return for votes for his presidency during a conference in Trinidad in May.

The 61-year-old is president of the Asian Football Confederation, a position he has held since August 2002.

He denies the bribery accusations and had campaigned for the FIFA presidency on an anti-corruption platform.

Jack Warner, FIFA vice-president 

FIFA's vice-president also faces a corruption investigation. Jack Warner is accused along with Bin Hammam of being involved in bribery FIFA's Trinidad conference.

During his time at the footballing body, Warner has found himself implicated in numerous corruption allegations reaching as far back as the 1980s.

Warner is FIFA's vice-president and the president of CONCACAF, the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football.

He is also minister of works and transport for Trinidad and Tobago and an elected member of his country's parliament.

If the bribery allegations prove true, it will not only be an embarrassment for FIFA but likely also for the Trinidad and Tobago government. 

Warner denies the bribery accusations.

Sepp Blatter, FIFA president

The 75-year-old Swiss-born Blatter has held the FIFA presidency for 13 years.

He was accused of knowing about cash payments allegedly made by Bin Hammam to national associations at a FIFA conference in Trinidad in return for their votes in the presidential election.

But the ethics committee cleared him of any violation, saying that he was under no obligation to report any suspicions he might have had regarding alleged bribery.

Blatter joined FIFA in 1975 as technical director. He was elected as president in 1998, and re-elected in 2002 and 2007.

The committee's ruling leaves him to run unopposed for a fourth term as FIFA president.

Chuck Blazer, FIFA executive

The bribery allegations against Bin Hammam and Warner spring from a report by Blazer. The American claimed that the men had broken FIFA rules at the CFU meeting in Trinidad on May 10-11.

Blazer is a member of the FIFA executive committee and is general secretary of CONCACAF.

Petrus Damaseb, FIFA ethics committee judge

Petrus Damaseb is deputy-chairman of FIFA's ethics committee.

In his home country of Namibia, he is judge president of the country's high court, a role he has held since December 2004.

Admired in the Namibian legal system for his diligence and plain-speaking, Damaseb presided over the ethics committee hearing.

Source:
Agencies
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