…over World Cup vote claims
By: Kofi Owusu Aduonum
FIFA executive committee members Amos Adamu and Reynald Temarii have been banned from voting in the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosting ballot.
Adamu was banned from football activity for three years, and Temarii for one year, over claims they asked for money in exchange for World Cup votes.
The 2018 Spain-Portugal and 2022 Qatar bids were cleared of collusion.
The ballot will proceed on 2 December with 22 voters – instead of 24 – and nine candidates across the two votes.
Following an investigation by FIFA’s ethics committee, Adamu, who has pleaded his innocence throughout, was fined 10,000 Swiss francs ($10,200; £6,300) and Temarii 5,000 francs, while four other FIFA officials, all former executive committee members, were suspended.
Ismael Bhamjee of Botswana was handed a four-year ban, Amadou Diakite of Mali and Ahongalu Fusimalohi of Tonga three-year ban punishments, and Tunisia’s Slim Aloulou a two-year suspension.
All four, who were fined 10,000 Swiss francs, were found to have broken rules on general conduct and loyalty, and of failing to report evidence of misconduct with relation to this case.
“For as long as I am in the ethics committee, we will have a zero tolerance policy for all violations of standards,” said FIFA ethics committee chairman, Claudio Sulser, after a three-day hearing.
“We don’t want cheaters, we don’t want doping, we don’t want abuses to be accepted.”
The Fifa ethics committee’s ruling followed a British newspaper’s claim that Nigerian Adamu and Tahitian Temarii, who is the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) president, asked for payments in exchange for votes.
Adamu and Temarii were secretly filmed by reporters from the Sunday Times, who posed as lobbyists for a consortium of American companies that wanted to bring the tournament to the US.
Adamu allegedly said he wanted $800,000 (£500,000) to build four artificial football pitches.
This would be against Fifa’s rules and he was found guilty of breaching bribery rules.
The Sunday Times footage appeared to show him asking for money to be paid to him directly for endorsing a US bid.
Temarii is also alleged to have asked for a payment, in his case to finance a sports academy, and he has been punished “I am profoundly disappointed with the ethics committee’s findings and had honestly believed I would be exonerated of any charges by now,” said Adamu. for breaching rules on loyalty and confidentiality.