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Fifa duo suspended amid 'bribe' row


Fifa president Sepp Blatter

Fifa president Sepp Blatter

Fifa president Sepp Blatter

Fifa has suspended executive committee members Mohamed Bin Hammam and Jack Warner from all football-related activity after an ethics committee for the sports governing body said it would launch a "full inquiry" into bribery allegations.

Fifa pledged to look into claims that the pair offered financial incentives to members of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU). Both men denied the allegations.

Fifa also announced "no investigation is warranted" against president Sepp Blatter and that the election will go ahead as planned on Wednesday - with Blatter as the only candidate.

The announcement come hours after Bin Hammam withdrew from the presidential election. Bin Hammam, from Qatar, and Warner are accused of handing over bundles of cash, each of 40,000 US dollars (£24,000), to Caribbean football officials in Trinidad earlier this month. The payments were allegedly made to secure votes for Bin Hammam in his election campaign.

Blatter was accused by his opponent of knowing about alleged payments. Earlier, Bin Hammam said the allegations were "baseless" and vowed to stick by Warner "through thick and thin".

"I promise those who stood by me that I will walk with my head held high and will continue to fight for the good of the game," he said. "I made the decision to run for the Fifa presidency because I was and remain committed to change within Fifa.

"I set out my goals and ambitions clearly - to further the cause of democracy within Fifa - through a commitment to transparency and accountability; through a commitment to expand the number of officials and nations involved in decision-making processes."

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Bin Hammam continued: "It saddens me that standing up for the causes that I believed in has come at a great price - the degradation of Fifa's reputation. This is not what I had in mind for Fifa and this is unacceptable.

"I cannot allow the name that I loved to be dragged more and more in the mud because of competition between two individuals. The game itself and the people who love it around the world must come first. It is for this reason that I announce my withdrawal from the presidential election.

"I will not put my personal ambition ahead of Fifa's dignity and integrity. Besides, I believe my candidacy has been a catalyst for debate within Fifa and has brought change to the top of the agenda."

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