Fifa investigates two members who allegedly offered to sell their votes in support of a country bidding for 2018 event.
Fifa, football’s world governing body, says it has launched an investigation into a British newspaper report that alleged two members of its executive committee offered to sell their votes in support for countries bidding to host the 2018 World Cup.
Reynaldi Temarii, a French Fifa vice-president, and Amos Adamu, a Nigerian member of the federation’s committee, reportedly told Sunday Times journalists posing as lobbyists in two separate incidents that they would endorse their country’s bid in return for large sums of money.
Adamu was apparently caught on camera meeting with reporters pretending to be lobbyists for the United States, in which he offered a “guarantee” to vote for the US bid in the 2018 event in return for $800,000 for a personal project.
According to the paper, Adamu, who is the president of the West African Football Union, said the money he requested was intended to pay for four football stadiums in Nigeria, but requested that the money be paid to him personally.
“Certainly if you are to invest that, that means you also want the vote,” he was reported as saying in the report. He added that the payments should be in two stages, half now and half after the vote on the World Cup’s host country on December 2.
The newspaper also reported that Adamu had agreed with someone else to back a rival bid in the 2022 World Cup contest, which is also voted on December 2, but said that the United States would be his second preference.
Meanwhile, the Sunday Times also said that Temarii, who is also a president of the Oceania Football Confederation, wanted $2.3m for a sports academy.
He also allegedly boasted that supporters of two bid committees had already offered Oceania money to swing his vote.
Such deals are strictly forbidden under Fifa’s regulations. But the newspaper also said six senior Fifa officials, past and present, had told the undercover reporters that paying bribes offered their best chance at securing their bid.
“Fifa has already requested to receive all of the information and documents related to this matter (the Sunday Times report), and is awaiting to receive this material,” Fifa said in a statement.
“In any case, Fifa will immediately analyse the material available and only once this analysis has concluded will Fifa be able to decide on any potential next steps.”