The stink of corruption seems to have reached all the way to the top of FIFA, football’s world governing body. With Swiss prosecutors launching crimil proceedings against the 79-year-old FIFA president Sepp Blatter, speculation is now rife that FIFA’s ethics committee may force him out five months before he is due to step down in February 2016. Blatter is under a cloud over allegations of making a questioble payment of 1.3 million pounds to UEFA head Michel Platini, the man seeking to succeed him, as well as a TV rights deal involving his former colleague Jack Warner, indicted on racketeering charges. After winning FIFA’s presidency for a fifth consecutive term in May this year, Blatter offered to resign a few days later, only to go back on his word. FIFA has been accused of ‘rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted corruption’ when the US Justice Department indicted several top executives after a raid at a luxury hotel in Zurich in May last. The charges arose over the bidding process and awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar and the 2018 World Cup to Russia. The scope of the FBI probe has since been widened to go into FIFA’s dealings over the past 20 years. Blatter has been consistently denying any wrongdoing, but the allegations of power brokering, embezzlement and money laundering against his close aides seem to have engulfed him as well.
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