By David Owen

March 17 - Sebastian Coe (pictured) has been replaced as chairman of FIFA’s Ethics Committee.

The London 2012 chairman has been on temporary leave of absence from his Ethics Committee position since February 2009, when he joined the board of England’s 2018 World Cup bid.

But it has emerged that he had been replaced by Claudio Sulser, a Swiss lawyer and former professional footballer.

It is understood that Coe and Sepp Blatter, FIFA’s President, saw each other in recent weeks in Vancouver and that the two men agreed it was unlikely Coe would have sufficient time to devote to the chairmanship even after the contest for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups ends in December.

In addition to his LOCOG responsibilities, Coe is one of three vice presidents of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

It is understood that he has an open invitation to rejoin the FIFA Ethics Committee if and when he chooses.

The change at the top emerged after the committee met, under Sulser’s chairmanship, yesterday and agreed to send a letter to all member associations bidding for the 2018 and/or 2022 tournaments.

This was "in order to remind them that they have signed regulations to respect fair play in this contest and that the Ethics Committee will remain vigilant to ensure that all regulations are adhered to".

FIFA subsequently confirmed to insidethegames that the appointment of Sulser - who won four Swiss league titles with Grasshopper Club Zurich and was capped 49 times by Switzerland - was "on a permanent basis".

Insidethegames was first to predict that Coe might have to give up his Ethics Committee role in February 2009.

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