FIFA open corruption probe into Blatter

PARIS, May 27, 2011 (AFP) - World football governing body FIFA announced Friday they have opened an investigation into bribery allegations against president Joseph Blatter.

AFP - In this photograph taken on March 5, 2011 FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter listens to a question during a press conference at the 125th annual General Meeting of the International Football Association Board at the Celtic Manor resort near Newport.

It comes two days after FIFA opened a graft probe into four officials including Blatter's rival for the FIFA presidency Qatar's Mohamed Bin Hammam.

The ethics proceedings against Blatter follows a request by Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president Bin-Hammam, FIFA said in a statement.

Bin Hammam, 61, will challenge former ally Blatter, 75, who is seeking a fourth and final four-year term for the FIFA presidency, in elections on June 1.

Blatter denied involvement in the corruption charges against election rival Hammam on Thursday, expressing his "shock and dismay" at the latest scandal to rock world football.

In a column on the respected InsideWorldFootball blog, Blatter said suggestions that the allegations against Bin Hammam were politically motivated ahead of a June 1st presidential election were "ludicrous."

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