FIFA setting up new ethics panel

March 30, 2012 at 2:23 PM
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ZURICH, Switzerland, March 30 (UPI) -- The world governing body for soccer said Friday it is setting up a two-chamber ethics panel that can investigate and judge corruption charges.

Sepp Blatter, the president of the International Federation for Association Football, made the announcement on the group's Web site. The body, usually known by its French acronym FIFA, currently has a single-chamber ethics committee.

At least one English official made allegations of impropriety in the selection of Russia as host of the 2018 World Cup. A whistleblower charged -- and later retracted -- allegations that two FIFA members took cash to back Qatar's successful bid for the 2022 tournament. The ethics committee found no grounds to proceed further after its initial investigation, and no officials suggested Friday that the new body would reopen the cases.

Peter Goldsmith, the former British attorney general who sits on the Independence Governance Committee, suggested dissatisfaction with past investigations.

"We are concerned about two things -- we need a system in place for the future and stronger controls in a number of different areas, but we also need structures that will give people confidence in FIFA and in order to do that it's necessary to understand what may have gone wrong in the past," he said.

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