What was meant to be a promotion for FIFA's under-20 World Cup, the tournament that has launched the careers of players like Lionel Messi, descended into farce when local journalists quizzed organisers about the corruption scandal embroiling the world governing body in Switzerland.

"Here we are not getting into any questions of this," FIFA's head of the tournament Marion Mayer-Vorfelder told reporters in Auckland. "Every question of this kind please refer to our colleagues in Zurich. "We really want to focus on the under-20 (World Cup), as I said the best teams in the world are here."

FIFA media operations manager Monika Huser then repeated several times they had nothing further to add and suggested they had been gagged by their bosses in Switzerland.

"We don't want to talk about it," she said. "We can't actually talk about the recent events happening in Zurich. "We cannot, even if we wanted to, we do not have any more information. We cannot comment on that and we are awaiting further guidance."

Soccer's governing body has been thrown into turmoil after Swiss police arrested seven senior officials at the request of United States authorities for alleged corruption involving more than $150 million in bribes over 24 years.

The controversy has tainted the world governing body's Congress, which will hold a presidential election on Friday.

Earlier, New Zealand soccer officials and politicians attempted to distance themselves from the scandal, reiterating a oft-repeated message on Thursday that it would have little impact on the age-group tournament.

"We don't anticipate any impact on the tournament at all at this stage," the head of the local organising committee Dave Beeche told reporters in Auckland.

"Obviously it's a developing situation, but we're focusing on the task at hand and that's putting the final touches in place and make sure we deliver a great event."

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