April 27, 2018 / 9:16 PM / a month ago

FIFA ethics body rules 'no substance' to Samoura charge

MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - FIFA’s ethics committee said there was “no substance” to a complaint made about the global soccer body’s general secretary Fatma Samoura.

FILE PHOTO: FIFA General Secretary Fatma Samoura speaks during an announcement ceremony of FIFA World Cup trophy tour at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, July 6, 2017. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin/File Photo

Samoura was reported to the ethics committee regarding an alleged undeclared family link between the former United Nations official - whose full name is Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura - and the ex-Liverpool forward El Hadji Diouf, who is working in an ambassadorial role for the Moroccan 2026 World Cup bid.

Both Samoura and Diouf are from Senegal and FIFA’s rules on bids state that family and other relationships should be disclosed.

Samoura and Diouf both publicly rejected the allegation saying they were not family members.

In a statement on Friday, FIFA’s ethics body said there was no issue to be addressed.

“The investigatory chamber of the Ethics committee has conducted a preliminary review of the facts. After this analysis it became clear that the allegations brought forward had no substance and that no such family link exists between Ms Samoura and Mr Diouf. 

“Therefore the investigatory chamber of the Ethics Committee has decided to close the case,” concluded the statement.

As well as Morocco, the United States, Mexico and Canada are making a joint bid to host the 2026 tournament, which will feature 48 teams.

FIFA’s congress is scheduled to hold a vote to decide the 2026 tournament hosts when it meets in Moscow on June 13.

The 2018 tournament is in Russia, while Qatar will host the event four years later.

Reporting by Simon Evans, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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