Hackers have posted false messages about corruption allegations on the Twitter accounts of world soccer governing body FIFA’s president Sepp Blatter and the organisers of the World Cup.
The tweets suggested Blatter had admitted to accepting bribes during the controversial 2022 World Cup bid, won by Qatar, and that he had resigned. Both claims are untrue.
A group calling itself the Syrian Electronic Army has claimed responsibility for the tweets.
“We can confirm that some of FIFA’s Twitter accounts, including the account of the FIFA President and @fifaworldcup, have been hacked today,” FIFA said in a statement.
“In the meantime, to avoid any doubt, we kindly ask you to verify and check any statements that you see on a FIFA Twitter account with the FIFA Media department.”
The Syrian Electronic Army, which says it is sympathetic to Syria’s President Bashar Assad, has previously claimed to have hacked the Twitter accounts of Qatari broadcaster Al-Jazeera and the BBC’s Arabic Service.
The decision to award Qatar the 2022 World Cup has been marred by allegations of corruption.