ZURICH – FIFA President Sepp Blatter wants to ensure his organization is free of corruption after scandals surrounding the World Cup hosting votes, and intends to establish a new committee with outside members to monitor the governing body.
Blatter told Swiss newspaper Sonntags Zeitung that an independent anti-corruption committee would improve FIFA's credibility.
"I will take care of it personally, to ensure there is no corruption at FIFA," Blatter said.
He aims to present the project to FIFA's congress of 208 national governing bodies in June, where he will stand for re-election seeking a fourth four-year term.
"This committee will strengthen our credibility and give us a new image," said Blatter, who acknowledged last month that FIFA "can't go on like this" after the World Cup voting process damaged the governing body's reputation.
FIFA officials were accused of bribe-taking and vote-trading before the World Cup host elections last month. Russia was awarded the 2018 tournament and Qatar was given 2022.
FIFA's ethics panel investigated and barred two of the 24-member executive committee members, Amos Adamu and Reynald Temarii, from voting based on evidence provided from an undercover sting by British newspaper, The Sunday Times.
Adamu from Nigeria became the first FIFA official suspended for bribery, and is serving a three-year ban from soccer duty.
Temarii, a FIFA vice president from Tahiti, was given a one-year ban for breaching rules on confidentiality and loyalty. Both men have said they will appeal their sentences.
Four former FIFA executive committee members — Tunisia's Slim Aloulou, Amadou Diakite of Mali, Botswanan Ismail Bhamjee and Ahongalu Fusimalohi from Tonga — were suspended for two-to-four years after they advised undercover reporters how much to pay FIFA voters in bribes.
In his interview Sunday, Blatter did not specify what investigative powers the anti-corruption committee would have or how it would work alongside the existing ethics panel.
Blatter said he expected the anti-corruption body to include up to nine officials, some selected from politics, finance, business and culture.
While FIFA has completed its own investigations, it faces an International Olympic Committee corruption probe.
The IOC's ethics commission is studying evidence provided by Britain's state broadcaster, the BBC, after it broadcast allegations that FIFA officials — some with Olympic connections — took kickbacks from its former marketing partner in the 1990s.
The BBC alleged that secret payments were received by three long-standing members of FIFA's ruling committee, including African confederation president Issa Hayatou in 1995. Hayatou, from Cameroon, became an IOC member in 2001.
The program also alleged that kickbacks were paid to former FIFA president Joao Havelange. The 94-year-old Brazilian is the IOC's longest-serving member with 47 years in the movement.