(Eds: Updates.) By GRAHAM DUNBAR AP Sports Writer In a conclave at FIFA headquarters this week, a group of soccer leaders will work secretively over two days in their first session of 2013.
Presided over by President Sepp Blatter, the FIFA Executive Committee - with 23 men and one woman - is a group governing a sport followed in many countries with near-religious fervor.
Known in FIFA circles as the ''ExCo,'' the group oversees a billion dollar annual income and $1.3 billion cash reserves thanks to the World Cup.
The ExCo members' influence was shown by the parade by princes, presidents and prime ministers who flocked to Zurich in December 2010 seeking votes for their country to be allowed to host a World Cup.
Yet that high status is balanced by the depths FIFA's reputation has sunk to among many soccer fans and commentators.
This week, one of the ExCo's main tasks is approving - or blocking - a slate of anti-corruption measures which the FIFA congress of 209 member nations wil...