‘Fifa should be booted from Switzerland’

Fifa, the world football governing body headquartered in Zurich, should no longer be based in Switzerland because it has “shown such a level of corruption that it no longer has a place in our country,” a high-profile Geneva lawyer says.

'Fifa should be booted from Switzerland'
Sepp Blatter: "Let the Ethics Committee work!" Photo: Marcello Casal Jr.

Charles Poncet told French-language radio station La Première (RTS) on Tuesday that the international football federation “was doing considerable harm to the image of Switzerland, all the more so because its head (Sepp Blatter) is Swiss”.

Fifa has “shown a level of corruption such that it no longer has any place in our country”.

Poncet made the comments in light of accusations of corruption linked to the awarding of the 2022 World Cup competition to Qatar.

Fifa is under pressure from more than half a dozen major sponsors who have registered concern over claims of wrongdoing in the bidding process.

Fifa’s ethics committee is investigating claims of corruption in the process which led in 2010 to Qatar winning the right to hold football’s biggest competition over bids from Australia, Japan, South Korea and the US.

Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper reported last week that Mohamed bin Hammam, Qatar’s former Fifa vice-president, paid £3 million to football officials around the world to gain support for the Qatari bid.

Blatter tweeted on the weekend that he was “never ignoring media reports on ethics allegations in football” while adding, “But let the Ethics Committee work!”

Heavyweight Fifa sponsors Adidas, Sony, Coca-Cola, Visa, Hyundai/Kia, BP and Budweiser have all issued statements of concern.

Thierry Weil, Fifa’s marketing director, said the federation was in constant contact with its sponsors and “they have 100% confidence in the investigation currently being conducted”.

Poncet is not convinced by such declarations.

The “federal government should, if they have the temerity to do it, demand the dissolution of this association”.

The comments came as Fifa began its 64th congress on Tuesday in Sao Paulo ahead of the kickoff of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. 

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