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New Code of Conduct for World Football


The head of world football's (soccer's) governing body has promised to establish a new code of conduct for all members of FIFA's executive committee, following questions about possible conflict of interest by two prominent committee members.

Joseph "Sepp" Blatter made the promise Tuesday in Zurich following a meeting of the executive committee. His actions come in response to reports that FIFA executive committee member Chuck Blazer of the United States set up a gambling business to take bets on next year's World Cup. There are also allegations against FIFA Vice President Jack Warner of Trinidad and Tobago for securing lucrative television rights to international tournaments.

Blatter said a new code of conduct for FIFA members would be ready no later than the next FIFA congress in five months and before next year's World Cup finals in South Korea and Japan.

The FIFA president said the code was needed to avoid apparent conflicts of interest in the future. Blatter said that if members of the executive committee have any involvement with companies, the companies should not have any direct or indirect link to FIFA. In his words, FIFA cannot afford to have executive committee members "who do not deserve it."

Leeds United midfielder Lee Bowyer has accused the English premiership team of victimizing him by placing him on the transfer list, after he refused to accept a fine from the club.

Bowyer was cleared Friday of criminal charges in a case where an Asian student, Sarfraz Najeib, was assaulted and seriously injured. But Leeds said he had violated the club's code of conduct by being under the influence on the night of the attack and fined him four weeks' wages ($123,000).

Leeds manager David O'Leary said Bowyer's actions had brought shame to the club, and he also ordered the player to undergo a community service program for the remainder of his contract. But Bowyer refused to accept the sanctions and was put up for transfer against his wishes.

Being placed on the transfer list is yet another blow for Bowyer, who is hoping to be chosen by England's coach Sven-Goran Eriksson to play in next year's World Cup. He is also facing a six-match ban by the Football Association, which had put two misconduct charges on hold pending his trial.

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