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Zwanziger demands reforms at scandal-ridden FIFA

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Zwanziger demands reforms at scandal-ridden FIFA
16:24 CEST+02:00
In an interview Theo Zwanziger, president of the German Football Federation (DFB), admitted that FIFA had an image problem and criticized the British Parliament.

Speaking to Welt am Sonntag in an interview published on Sunday, he said that FIFA should also consider setting up an external commission.

“It is important that when it comes to certain decisions that the responsibility is transferred outside the organization,” he told the newspaper. ”There needs to be a visible division of power within the organization, and in difficult cases, an independent commission outside of FIFA.”

Zwanziger also admitted that the world football body had an image problem. “We all have to work on solving this,” he said.

FIFA President Joseph Blatter, the head of the organization's Asian confederation Mohamed bin Hammam and Vice President Jack Warner faced a FIFA ethics commissions in Zurich on Sunday.

Bin Hammam and Warner have been accused of corruption, while Blatter is accused of turning a blind eye to alleged payments to FIFA members from the Caribbean.

Qatari bin Hammam and Warner allegedly paid some voters bribes at a meeting in Warner's native Trinidad three weeks ago. The two deny any wrongdoing.

FIFA's administration is also looking into allegations levelled in a British Parliamentary inquiry that FIFA executives had sought bribes during the bidding for 2018 and 2022 World Cup. England was bitterly disappointed to lose out to Qatar.

Hours before the hearing, bin Hamman withdrew his candidacy for the FIFA presidential election scheduled for this coming Wednesday. That should clear the way for Blatter to be re-elected head of the scandal-plagued organization.

Franz Beckenbauer, who retires as a member of the FIFA executive committee next week, described the corruption allegations as “a disaster for football.” Speaking to the BBC on Sunday, he said, “I hope when June 1 comes and the election will be over, then all the discussion about corruption is finished and FIFA can go back to normal.”

In the Welt am Sonntag interview, Zwanziger also lashed out at the way that the British Parliament had rowed in on the corruption scandal. He said he did not agree with the fact that it had made claims about corruption during the decision to make Qatar the host of the World Cup in 2022.

“No other sport is as much the focus of public attention as football,” he said. “And every suspicion is therefore very quickly treated as the truth. I have little understanding for the fact that these accusations were raised by the parliament without the slightest proof being produced.”

The Local/DPA/smd

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