FIFA Panel Pledges to Address Issues

Monday, October 23rd 2006, 12:22 pm
By: News On 6

ZURICH, Switzerland (AP) _ The FIFA ethics committee met for the first time Monday and pledged to address corruption, doping, racism and match fixing in soccer.

The committee, created earlier this year to oversee the ethical conduct of FIFA officials, did not discuss the allegation that FIFA vice president Jack Warner sold thousands of tickets at inflated prices during the World Cup because it predates the committee's founding.

Warner is scheduled to face a FIFA disciplinary committee on the tickets issue. The ethics committee, chaired by former British runner Sebastian Coe, is independent and does not include any FIFA officials.

``Association football is the most popular sport in the world ... but its popularity has also attracted some of the dangers and vices of our modern society, including corruption, doping, racism, illegal betting and other forms of cheating,'' FIFA president Sepp Blatter said in a statement.

Coe said it was important to promote ``an ever-greater transparency and integrity'' in the financial aspects of soccer.

Coe, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and chairman of London's 2012 Olympic organizing committee, was appointed in September to lead the committee, which will base itself along the lines of the International Olympic Committee's ethics commission.