(WFI) The International Olympic Committee tells INSIDER it is seeking evidence from The Sunday Times about explosive allegations that the Qatar 2022 World Cup bid paid bribes to African football chief Issa Hayatou in exchange for his vote.
“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,” Mark Adams, the IOC’s director of communications, told INSIDER on Wednesday.
Hayatou, president of the Confederation of African Football , is an IOC member from Cameroon.
He could be suspended by the IOC Executive Board if its ethics committee finds him guilty of accepting bribes from Qatar.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter said yesterday that FIFA would “react immediately” once it was in possession of any further evidence of bribery claims.
On Tuesday, British MP Damian Collins told a parliamentary inquiry into football governance that it had received written evidence from the Sunday Times newspaper that Hayatou and fellow FIFA Executive Committee member Jacques Anouma were paid by a fixer employed by the Qatar bid.
“The Sunday Times’ submission claims that $1.5m was paid to FIFA executive committee members Issa Hayatou and Jacques Anouma who went on to vote for Qatar [on Dec. 2],” Collins told the inquiry.
It’s not the first time a cash-for-votes allegation has landed Hayatou in hot water with FIFA – and with the IOC. He was among three FIFA executives charged with accepting bribes by the BBC Panorama investigation aired just prior to the Dec. 2 vote on the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. Russia and Qatar won hosting rights.
At the time, the IOC stressed that no members were under investigation as a result of the exposé into “FIFA’s dirty secrets”, which alleged that Hayatou and two other FIFA Ex-co members – CONMEBOL president Nicolas Leoz and Brazilian football federation chief Teixeira – took
backhanders in the $100 million ISL
scandal. But the IOC did ask for any evidence uncovered by the show’s reporters.
Commenting on the BBC Panorama allegations today, IOC spokesman Adams told INSIDER: “The independent ethics commission has received supporting documents from the BBC and I understand they are at present trying to authenticate those documents.”
At the inquiry in the House of Commons on Tuesday, four other FIFA Ex-co members were accused of unethical behaviour in demanding improper inducements in return for their votes for the England 2018 World Cup bid.
Former English FA and England 2018 World Cup bid chairman David Triesman made the allegations about Jack Warner, Worawi Makudi, Nicolas Leoz and Ricardo Teixeira.
FIFA Ex-co members Amos Adamu of Nigeria and Reynald Temarii of Tahiti were banned by FIFA’s ethics committee following the newspaper’s bribery revelations last autumn.
FIFA’s credibility now lies in tatters following the latest bribery revelations centring on the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding process. A third of the 24-member FIFA Executive Committee due to vote on the tournaments have now been accused of impropriety during the bid race.
By INSIDER editor Mark Bisson
Your best source of news about the global football business is World Football INSIDER