The Nobel Peace Center in the Norwegian capital of Oslo announced Monday that it would terminate its relationship with scandal-hit FIFA, in the latest blow to soccer’s international governing body. The federation was recently hit by an unprecedented corruption row, which led to the detention of several of its officials.
The Nobel Peace Center and FIFA had been partners in the “Handshake for Peace” initiative between team captains and officials since 2012, the Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.
“The board of directors asked management to end cooperation with FIFA as soon as circumstances permit,” the center, a branch of the Nobel Committee, which awards the Nobel Peace Prize, said in a statement, without referring to the corruption allegations.
“The board also asks the administration to start a dialogue with the Norwegian Football Association for the Handshake for Peace initiative to continue in the future,” the center added, according to the Guardian.
Nobel Peace Center's move comes after last week's announcement by Interpol to pull out of a 20 million euro ($23 million) deal with FIFA, which it had signed in order to promote integrity in the sport, AFP reported.
The massive scandal that engulfed the soccer body eventually forced Sepp Blatter to resign as the FIFA president only four days after being re-elected for a fifth term. It also raised questions on the fairness of the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, scheduled to be held in Russia and Qatar, respectively. Recent reports said that if the two countries are dropped, Europe and the U.S. would be the likely contenders for hosting the tournaments.