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Swiss review corruption laws after FIFA scandal

sports Updated: Oct 24, 2010 16:34 IST
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Switzerland's sports ministry on Sunday confirmed reports that it is reviewing laws covering corruption in sport in the wake of the latest scandal to hit Zurich-based FIFA.

The Swiss newspaper Sonntagszeitung reported that Swiss Defence and Sports minister Ueli Maurer had asked officials to examine the issue and report back with recommendations, with a view to possibly tightening the net.

"I can confirm the report," defence and sports ministry spokesman Martin Buehler said.

Apart from its own domestic sports associations, Switzerland is host to about 40 international federations such as world football's governing body, the European governing body UEFA, the International Olympic Committee and the International Cycling Union (UCI).

Federal Sports Office spokesman Christoph Lauener told the newspaper that the review was due to Switzerland's role as a host of international sports federations.

"And corruption is in the meantime a bigger danger for sports and its image than doping," he added, with the growing commercialisation of sports.

International sports federations are covered by special hosting agreements granting dispensation from some local laws such as taxation, although FIFA is also registered as a non-profit association in Switzerland.

Football's governing body has provisionally suspended two senior officials and launched an investigation over alleged World Cup vote selling ahead of the announcement of the winning host countries for 2018 and 2022 on December 2.

In a new twist, the British newspaper that first reported the allegations said on Sunday that former FIFA general secretary Michel Zen-Ruffinen had identified officials. He said that he could take money in return for votes in the race to host the World Cup.

In comments quoted by the paper, Zen-Ruffinen said he was "totally against" bribery and had only offered to make introductions.

He added in secret footage taken by undercover journalists: "I would never play this game but there are people who are like that."

Zen-Ruffinen left the governing body in 2002 after being forced out in a row with FIFA President Sepp Blatter over detailed allegations the general secretary made of financial impropriety at the governing body.