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FIFA strongly deny bribery allegations

Written by: Staff

BERLIN, June 12 (Reuters) FIFA has strongly denied allegations of bribery and corruption made in the BBC television programme Panorama last night.

In a wide-ranging investigation into world soccer's governing body, reporter Andrew Jennings said that senior FIFA officials including president Sepp Blatter and his predecessor Joao Havelange had abused their positions in relation to their former, and now defunct, commercial partner, International Sport and Leisure (ISL).

Jennings has written a book on the subject: ''Foul! The Secret World of FIFA: Bribes, Vote Rigging and Ticket Scandals.'' In a statement today, FIFA said: ''There are specific allegations by the BBC programme Panorama that FIFA and its president take exception to, which does not mean that any of the other points raised are acceptable to FIFA, or true.

''As confirmed by the relevant authorities it is completely false and defamatory to claim that either the FIFA president or FIFA are the subject of a bribery probe by Swiss police.

''The fact is that FIFA is the victim of ISL's irregularities.

FIFA looks forward to the final proceedings by the Swiss courts which it continues to support.'' Reuters PDS GC1845

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