19 Sep 2014

FIFA members told to return watches

12:01 pm on 19 September 2014

FIFA executive committee members are among more than 50 football officials who have been told to return watches, estimated to be worth about $US25,000 each, which were handed out as gifts by the Brazilian Football Confederation during the World Cup.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter

Fifa president Sepp Blatter Photo: PHOTOSPORT

FIFA's ethics committee said in a statement that the gifts breached the organisation's code of ethics and should not have been accepted. However, it said it would not instigate proceedings against officials who return the watches by October the 24th.

The statement said the matter came to light when several officials reported it to the ethics committee and handed in their watches.

Meanwhile the FIFA world football rankings continue to make dismal reading for Asia with only two teams, Iran and Japan, in the top 50 of September's list.

Iran, Asia's top-ranked team were a modest 44th, while Japan were four places below them.

They were followed by Uzbekistan in 58th and South Korea a further five places adrift.

World Cup holders Germany stayed top of the table, followed by World Cup runners up Argentina with Colombia in third and Netherlands fourth.

England is 18th.

Albania leapt up 25 places to 46th after their shock 1-0 win away to Portugal in the Euro 2016 qualifiers.

Portugal stayed 11th despite the defeat, which cost coach Paulo Bento his job.

Brazil's friendly wins over Colombia and Ecuador, in their first two games under new coach Dunga, took them up one place to sixth.

New Zealand is down 20 places to 118th. Australia is 84.