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Soccer-Blatter says worldwide effort needed to battle corruption

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

BERNE, Feb 1 (Reuters) - World soccer's governing body cannot battle corruption in the game alone and national associations must also join in, according to FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

He believes all of FIFA's 209 member associations plus the continental confederations should follow its example by setting up independent ethics committees to investigate and punish any corrupt behaviour by their officials.

"FIFA alone cannot be the tribunal for 300 million people involved in football," the Swiss said in a video interview on FIFA's website (www.fifa.com).

After being hit by a series of corruption scandals in 2010 and 2011, FIFA strengthened its ethics committee by splitting it into two chambers, one to investigate cases and the other to judge them and hand out sanctions.

It also set up an audit and compliance committee to review financial accounting and carry out integrity checks on candidates for positions on FIFA committees.

"This will only work if these two committees are installed in all national associations and the (continental) confederations," said Blatter.

Blatter has often pointed out in the past that he is not responsible for the members of his executive committee who are elected by their respective continental confederations.

FIFA is due to discuss further reforms, including possible age limits for elected officials and a restriction on the number of mandates they can serve, at its annual Congress in Mauritius in May.

"I am convinced that in Mauritius we will bring to an end our reform programme," said Blatter. (Reporting by Brian Homewood in Berne;Editing by Ken Ferris)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130201/soccer-blatter-says-worldwide-effort-needed-battle-corruption