Internal investigations into corruption at world football body FIFA are to be opened by UK banks Barclays and Standard Chartered. The investigations will seek to uncover if either of the two banks’ services had been used for the purposes of corruption by FIFA officials. Labour Party leadership candidate Andy Burnham today called on England to boycott the 2018 World Cup, and called on the UK Football Association (FA) to take action. FA Chairman Greg Dyke has said that any action taken by the FA must be taken as part of wider action between footballing nations, rather than simply acting alone. Calls for reform at FIFA have grown following the re-election of Sepp Blatter as President, the man who presided over the FIFA during a 24-year corruption scandal that threatens to engulf the organisation.
Schools have begun re-opening in Nepal, one month on from a series of earthquakes that caused devastation across the country. 8,000 schools are known to have been destroyed during the earthquakes that killed 8,000 people. Most rebuilt schools have been temporary structures. Lessons at the schools are reported be centring on group activities rather than formal lessons, to assist in the psychological recovery of pupils following the disaster. The United Nations has made calls for the world to step up aid to Nepal, with more food needed.
China has responded to speculation that it will declare an Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) over the South China Sea, saying that the decision will be based on a security assessment of the region. Tensions have grown following growing American criticism of China’s island-building programme in the region. Washington has expressed concerns that China’s actions will threaten freedom of navigation in the sea, which is a vital channel for global shipping. China on Sunday rejected US concerns, saying that it is exercising its sovereignty through its island-building, and that it would use its outposts to fulfil international responsibilities.
The continuing corruption scandal at world football body FIFA continues to make a few headlines. The Sunday Times leads with news that Swiss prosecutors have ‘targeted’ newly re-elected FIFA President Sepp Blatter. UK Football Association President Prince William has called for a “clean-up” of FIFA, the paper reports. The Sunday Telegraph writes in its headline that Prince William has ‘hit out’ at FIFA, telling the organisation to “Play fair and put fans first”. The Observer leads with news that “Ex-Whitehall chief” and former civil service head Lord Kerslake has criticised the government’s right-to-buy housing policy. Lord Kerslake will this week say that the policy “is wrong in principle and practice and will not address the urgent need to build more affordable homes”. The Independent on Sunday leads with news of “Health fears over school cancer jab”. According to a new Freedom of Information Act request, “thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms” after routine HPV vaccine injections designed to reduce the risk of cervical cancer.
British Media on China
On the South China Sea: South China Sea tensions continue to receive coverage from the UK media. The BBC reports that the US has called for a “land reclamation ‘halt’” in the South China Sea, and includes video coverage with its piece. Criticism from US Defence Secretary Ash Carter is “some of the toughest” seen from the US on the dispute, the BBC writes. The Independent reports that America has issued a “strong warning” to China over its island building programme. The Daily Telegraph’s agency piece reports that China has rejected criticism of its actions from Washington. The Guardian features a piece reporting that Australia has called on nations involved in the dispute to sign a “code of conduct”.