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ZURICH - Fifa's new ethics monitor has warned candidates hoping to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups they could face sanctions if they fail to play by campaign rules.
Fifa said its ethics panel, chaired by Claudio Sulser, will write to the 10 bid teams reminding them to respect fair play or face "any sanctions the committee deems appropriate".
Rules prohibit bidders from criticising rivals, offering cash gifts and making deals to trade support before the December 2 poll of Fifa's 24-member executive committee. Sulser, a former Switzerland international forward who is now a lawyer, will oversee the final nine months of campaigning to secure football's most prestigious tournament.
"I am certain that we can do something positive if we work together as a team, with a transparent approach and with a clear application of the code of ethics in order to protect the integrity of football," he said.
Welcoming Sulser to his job, Fifa president Sepp Blatter said football's economic impact created "not only a social responsibility, but a moral commitment too. This is why it is so important to have an independent ethics committee that can supervise and make sure that fair play and the code of ethics are respected."
Sulser succeeded Sebastian Coe. The two-time Olympic middle-distance running champion had stood aside temporarily when he joined England's bid team.
England is competing against Australia, Japan, Russia, the US and joint candidates Spain-Portugal and Netherlands-Belgium to host the tournament in 2018 or 2022. - Sapa-AP