Hayatou to drag BBC to court

…Over alleged bribery scandal

With Kofi O. Aduonum

Issa Hayatou - On his way to the law courts

Beleaguered Confederation of  African Football (CAF) chief Issa Hayatou has threatened to sue the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) following bribery claims  made against him by BBC.

Hayatou, 64, was accused by Panorama of taking 100,000 French francs (£12,900) in 1995 from sports marketing firm ISL. The now-defunct business had been lobbying to gain lucrative rights from FIFA.

However, Cameroonian Hayatou has said the sum was in fact paid to the Confederation of African Football, which he heads, as part of a sponsorship deal.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has said it will look into the bribery allegations because Hayatou is also a member of the IOC.

Meanwhile, the allegations concerning Trinadad & Tobago’s Warner revolved around Panorama saying it had seen e-mails and an invoice which showed he was involved in the procurement of $84,000 worth of 2010 World Cup tickets.

The e-mail trail suggests the tickets were destined for the black market but the planned deal – including 38 tickets for the final in Johannesburg – collapsed because the touts were not prepared to pay the asking price.

In 2006, Panorama revealed that Mr. Warner had sold tickets on the black market for that year’s World Cup tournament in Germany.

FIFA subsequently ordered Mr. Warner’s family business, Simpaul Travel, to make a $1m donation to charity to “compensate for the profits it had made through resale of 2006 FIFA World Cup tickets”.

A BBC spokesman has said that the corporation will stand by the claims made in Panorama. Meanwhile, the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) has said it will not be able to vote at Thursday’s meeting after its delegate, Reynald Temarii, decided to appeal against his suspension from FIFA’s executive committee.

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