FIFA promise zero tolerance
Zurich - FIFA has promised a zero tolerance approach to unethical behaviour in the contest to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in response to comments made by the body's former general secretary to undercover newspaper reporters.
"FIFA and the ethics committee are committed to have zero tolerance for any breach of the code of ethics and the bid registration," soccer's governing body in a statement on Monday.
"FIFA and the ethics committee are determined to protect the integrity of the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup bidding process."
The Sunday Times newspaper in Britain posted a film of Michel Zen-Ruffinen talking to undercover reporters about the bid process, fueling the controversy surrounding the hosting of the two tournaments.
Zen-Ruffinen, general secretary from 1998 until he left soccer's governing body in 2002 after accusing FIFA president Sepp Blatter of mismanagement, later called for an external investigation into alleged corruption.
Last week, two members of FIFA's executive committee members were provisionally suspended on suspicion of selling their votes in the contest to host the two tournaments.
Nigerian Amos Adamu and Tahiti's Reynald Temarii were banned from all football-related activity for 30 days while FIFA's own ethics committee investigates allegations they offered to sell their votes when approached by Sunday Times journalists posing as lobbyists for an American consortium.
FIFA, which hopes to conclude the investigation by mid-March, confirmed that it would include Zen-Ruffinen's comments in its investigations.
"FIFA will provide all of the information collected on this matter to the ethics committee," FIFA said.
"FIFA has immediately requested to receive all the documents and potential evidence that the newspaper has in relation to this matter, and will in any case analyse the material available.
FIFA is due elect the hosts of the two World Cup tournaments on Dec. 2 in Zurich with only the 24 members of the executive committee entitled to vote.
It is still not clear what will happen if the pair are found guilty as any replacements would have to be elected by their respective confederations.
FIFA have not commented on the possibility that the election could go ahead with only 22 voters and general secretary Jerome Valcke said last Wednesday that there had been no discussion over postponing the vote.
England, Russia, Spain/Portugal and Belgium/Netherlands are bidding to host the 2018 World Cup while Japan, South Korea, Australia, United States and Qatar are candidates for 2022.
FIFA is also investigating allegations that two unnamed candidates have broken the rules by acting in collusion.