Blatter is last man standing in FIFA probe

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FIFA have insisted Sepp Blatter will stand unopposed in this week’s presidential election despite the corruption scandal that saw two senior FIFA members suspended pending a full inquiry into bribery charges.

Jack Warner and Mohamed Bin Hammam were suspended from all football-related activity by FIFA’s ethics committee yesterday.

A complaint against Blatter by Bin Hammam that he knew about the $40,000 payments to Caribbean Football Union officials was rejected by the ethics committee.

Bin Hammam withdrew from the FIFA presidential election yesterday and FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke announced that the election, with Blatter as the only candidate, will take place as scheduled on Wednesday.

Petrus Damaseb, the Namibian judge presiding over the ethics committee, said there was enough evidence against Bin Hammam and Warner to justify them being suspended - pending the full inquiry.

He told a news conference in Zurich: “Mr Bin Hammam is hereby provisionally banned from taking part in any football-related activity until FIFA’s ethics committee take a decision on this matter, and the same decision for Mr Jack Warner.”

Blatter was accused by Bin Hammam of knowing about the payments and not reporting them but he told the ethics committee he had warned Warner that any such payments were not appropriate.

Damaseb said: “The committee took the view that the obligation to report did not arise because at that stage no wrongdoing had occurred.”

Two officials from the Caribbean Football Union (CFU), Debbie Minguell and Jason Sylvester, who were alleged to have handed over the money, have also been suspended pending a full inquiry.