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Sepp Blatter pulls out of scheduled appearance

Embattled Fifa president Sepp Blatter has withdrawn from another scheduled appearance as the crisis engulfing his organisation continued.

Sepp Blatter has cancelled another scheduled appearance today. Credit: Reuters

Mr Blatter was due to give a speech at Fifa's medical conference at a Zurich hotel on Thursday morning, but the governing body said the 79-year-old would not be attending.

Blatter missed two meetings yesterday after senior officials were arrested on bribery and corruption charges.

The president - who is bidding to be re-elected at Friday's presidential election - issued a statement saying he was committed to removing those involved in corrupt practices from the game.


Fifa arrests: French minister calls for election delay

It "would make sense" to delay Friday's planned vote to elect a new Fifa president in light of the latest scandal to hit the organisation, France's foreign minister has said.

Sepp Blatter is bidding for a fifth term in office in this Friday's presidential election. Credit: Reuters

Laurent Fabius said Fifa currently had a "disastrous image" and time was needed to establish the facts.

"It's been several years that there have been accusations of corruption. It would make sense to take a bit of time, see what is true and not and then the authorities can adjudicate, but for now, it's giving a disastrous image," Fabius told a French radio station.

"I'm saying this on a personal level, but it would seem to make sense (to delay the election)," he said.

Hammond: Something 'deeply wrong' at heart of Fifa

There is something "deeply wrong" at the heart of Fifa, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has said, as he became the latest figure to call for reform of the governing body.

Philip Hammond is the latest person to express concern at the latest Fifa scandal. Credit: Reuters

"There is something deeply wrong at the heart of Fifa and international football needs to reform, needs to get its act together," Mr Hammond told the BBC.

Sepp Blatter - who is seeking a fifth term as president - is under pressure to resign after several senior Fifa officials were arrested on suspicion of "rampant" corruption.

He later told Sky News that a British politician in the same positon as Mr Blatter would be "struggling to cling on".

Nebraska is 19th US state to repeal death penalty

Nebraska became the first conservative state in more than 40 years to abolish the death penalty on Wednesday when lawmakers boldly voted 30-19 to override the governor's veto.

Conservative and Liberal politicians came together in an unlikely alliance after Republican governor Pete Ricketts attempted to veto a popular repeal bill.

Nebraska is the first Republican controlled state in the U.S. to abolish capital punishment since North Dakota did so in 1973.

The state had 10 inmates on death row, and hadn't executed anyone since 1997. It is the 19th state to abolish capital punishment.


US prosecutors allege 12 corrupt Fifa schemes

Some of the accused officials Credit: Reuters

The US Department of Justice has outlined 12 schemes it alleges the Fifa officials and executives arrested yesterday were involved with, dating as far back as 1993.

Payments and kickbacks are alleged to have been made during the organisation of various cup competitions, including the Copa Americas, the Copa Libertadores and the Copa Do Brazil in South America, the Concacaf Gold Cup and Champions League - decades' worth of World Cup Qualifiers in the Caribbean and Central America.

Votes on the host of the 2010 World Cup are also called into question, as is the 2011 Fifa presidential election, and kit supplies for the Brazilian FA.

Hundreds of millions of dollars are alleged to have changed hands across the various schemes.

Chicago police blasted for 'hunting' pic of black man

Former officers Jerome Finnigan and Timothy McDermott Credit: Cook county court file

A shocking photo showing two white Chicago police officers striking a "hunting" pose with rifles as they stand over a black man with deer antlers on his head has caused outrage in the States.

The photo of the man with Timothy McDermott and Jerome Finnigan was published in the Chicago Sun-Times after being released by a district judge.

It is believed to have been taken between 1999 and 2003 and later led to the sacking of McDermott, who had a request to keep the image secret dismissed.

The other officer, Jerome Finnigan, is currently serving 12 years in a Florida prison for his part in a gang of rogue cops who burgled houses in Chicago.

Banks face tough questions over alleged Fifa bribes

More than a dozen banks have been named in the US Department of Justice's investigation into more than $150m in bribes.

"Part of our investigation will look at the conduct of the financial institutions to see whether they were cognizant of the fact they were helping launder these bribe payments," Kelly T Currie, acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said at a news conference.

"It's too early to say if there is any problematic behavior, but it will be part of our investigation," he said.

Ex Fifa VP Jack Warner escorted by Trinidad police

Ex CONCACAF president Jack Warner was arrested yesterday in his native Trinidad as part of the ongoing investigation into Fifa corruption

The former FIFA vice-president Warner was indicted in a US Department of Justice investigation, which alleges he solicited $10m in bribes from the South African government to host the 2010 World Cup.

This was the scene as he handed himself into police yesterday.

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