(WFI) FIFA has urged the English FA and The Sunday Times to come forward with evidence of bribery in the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding race following yesterday’s explosive allegations of corruption involving four more Ex-co members.
FIFA announced that its secretary general Jérôme Valcke has today written to FA chairman David Bernstein requesting a report from David Triesman, former FA and England 2018 chairman, on the stunning revelations he made to MPs in a British parliamentary inquiry yesterday on the bid’s failure.
The FIFA statement says Valcke expresses in the letter “the extreme concern of FIFA and the FIFA president at the latest allegations questioning the integrity of some FIFA Executive Committee members in connection with the bidding procedure for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups”.
For FIFA to be in a position “to examine the situation thoroughly and with clear-sightedness”, he asks The FA to submit a complete report from Triesman, “by means of which the latter would relate his declarations fully and provide any and all documentary evidence at his disposal”.
FIFA has also asked The FA to provide it with the parliamentary records/report in connection with the statements and testimonies made by Triesman at the House of Commons.
Triesman’s revelations in the House of Commons inquiry was FIFA’s ‘Black Tuesday’. It’s the most damaging day for world football’s governing body since The Sunday Times expose on the cash-for-votes bidding scandal involving Ex-co members Amos Adamu and Reynald Temarii that rocked the organisation last autumn. Both were subsequently banned from international football; Adamu is appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Triesman accused four FIFA Exco members of “improper and unethical” behaviour, asking for inducements in return for voting for England. He named Jack Warner, Worawi Makudi, Nicolas Leoz and Ricardo Teixeira.
The most serious allegations were made against Warner, whom Triesman said asked for £2.5 million ($4.3 million) to build a football development centre in Trinidad with the money through him. Warner has since vehemently denied the claims.
Today, FIFA also sent a letter to The Sunday Times asking the newspaper to provide FIFA with any piece of evidence with regard to the statements made to MP John Whittingdale.
It followed the surprise submission of new evidence to the parliamentary committee yesterday in which fresh allegations were made that the Qatar 2022 World Cup bid paid paid $1.5million bribes to FIFA Ex-co members Jacques Anouma and Issa Hayatou.
In the evidence supplied to the government’s select committee, there were also claims that Qatar offered Ex-co members between $1-1.2 million funds for unspecified projects.
Qatar World Cup organisers and Hayatou, president of the Confederation of African Football, have dismissed the claims.
Mohamed Bin Hammam, Blatter’s rival in the FIFA presidential race, also today denied the allegations that Qatar paid bribes in exchange for votes.
“I can assure you nothing like this has happened from our side,” the Qatari told Press Association Sport. “If someone wants to damage reputations like this then they have to provide the proof. You can’t just accuse people just like that.
“It didn’t happen. It is fine to say something, to try to damage the reputation of somebody but where is the proof?”
FIFA bosses were taken aback by the fresh allegations of bribery against Anouma and Hayatou that wasn’t included in evidence passed on to them during the ethics committee investigation that led to bans for Adamu and Temarii.
In the letter to The Sunday Times, FIFA said it understood that the newspaper had already provided world’s football governing body with all of the evidence and documentation at its disposal.
FIFA said in its statement that it had asked the newspaper “to submit as soon as possible any other piece of evidence that it may be in possession of and which has not yet been sent to FIFA”.
In particular, reference is made in the letter to the allegations regarding a “whistleblower who had worked with the Qatar bid”, who allegedly made some declarations regarding the matter in question.
Hayatou “categorically denies” corruption claims
Hours after the IOC told INSIDER that it was seeking evidence from The Sunday Times about bribery allegations facing Issa Hayatou, the Cameroonian issued a statement through the website of the Confederation of African Football denying the claims.
The president of the Confederation of African Football “categorically denied” allegations of corruption brought against him yesterday.
“This kind of reporting to create and propagate false information to destroy his reputation; leadership and integrity, will not succeed,” the statement said.
“The president of CAF said all these accusations brought against him are pure invention and an attempt to discredit him. He is anxiously waiting for the so-called proof as the Sunday Times says ‘they are accusations still to be proven’.”
The CAF statement noted that during the bid process for the 2022 World Cup the Qatar bid had sponsoed the CAF General Assembly to the tune of $1.8m. In return, the bid from the Gulf state was given the exclusive rights to address the general assembly and make presentations to members.
“This sponsorship was approved by the Executive Committee of CAF during its meeting of January 8, 2010 in Luanda, Angola; an agreement was signed between the two parties,” the statement adds.
The IOC said in a statement sent to INSIDER today that it would look into bribery claims against Hayatou, also an IOC member from Cameroon.
“The IOC takes all allegations of corruption very seriously and we would ask for any evidence of wrongdoing to be passed to the IOC’s ethics commission,” said Mark Adams, the IOC’s director of communications.
By INSIDER editor Mark Bisson
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