ZURICH (Reuters) - Soccer’s governing body FIFA has an exemplary ethics set-up unmatched by any other sports organisation, its president Sepp Blatter said on Friday.
“Since the reforms, we have had an exemplary organisation in ethics... we have two chambers... with independent chairmen,” Blatter told the World Summit for Ethics in Sports.
“We are the only sports organisation which has this independent body for ethics, nobody else, not even the IOC (International Olympic Committee).
“What is important is that they are totally independent, they have been elected by the congress.”
Blatter said that FIFA’s ethics committee was entirely independent and, since 2011, had consisted of two parts - the investigatory chamber, responsible for investigating breaches of ethics, and the adjudicatory chamber, which determines sanctions.
FIFA has been hit by a series of corruption scandals in the last few years resulting in the suspension of several members of its executive committee while some had to resign. Some members are still under investigation.
These included Mohamed Bin Hammam, a candidate in the 2011 presidential election who was banned for life over a cash-for-votes scandal.
The ethics committee is currently investigating the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, awarded to Russia and Qatar respectively.
“In football, we have challenges, because we have 209 national associations, we have 300 million active participants in our sport around the world... players, coaches, referees and with their families we have 1.2 billion people, directly or indirectly involved in our sport,” Blatter added.
“It is easy to control the football, our game, when it is played on a pitch, there are boundaries, secondly there is a time limit and there is a referee so it is easy to work with our 300 million participants on the field of the play.
“Outside the field of play, we have no boundaries, no referees and no timing.”
Editing by Sudipto Ganguly