The ethics committee of football's world governing body, FIFA, has provisionally suspended two members of its executive committee for allegedly offering to sell their World Cup votes.
At a news conference in Zurich Wednesday, chairman Claudio Sulser said FIFA has zero tolerance for any breach of its code of ethics. Calling it a sad day for football and for FIFA, he announced that Nigeria's Amos Adamu and Reynald Temarii of Tahiti were immediately suspended while the investigation continues. The decision means the men will not be allowed to take part in any football-related activity.
The football body determined it was likely both men had breached the FIFA statutes, code of ethics and the disciplinary code. In addition, four other lower ranking officials - Slim Aloulou of Tunisia, Mali's Amadou Diakite, Ahongalu Fusimalohi of Tonga and Botswana's Ismail Bhamjee - were also suspended in an alleged breach of the same rules.
FIFA's ethics committee will also investigate whether two countries bidding for either the 2018 and 2022 World Cups have engaged in collusion.
FIFA is scheduled to award the rights to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups on December 2. The 2018 event will go to one of four European candidates - England, Russia or joint bids by Belgium-Holland and Spain-Portugal.
For 2022, the hosting battle is between the United States, Australia, Japan, Qatar and South Korea.
FIFA ordered investigations after allegations by London's Sunday Times that Adamu and Temarii offered to sell their World Cup bid votes for money to fund football projects.
Amadu was filmed by undercover reporters requesting $800,000 to be paid to him directly. Temarii allegedly told the same journalists that he wanted $2.4 million.
Some information for this report was provided by AP.