With Kofi Owusu Aduonum
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will investigate FIFA vice President Issa Hayatou over allegations he took bribes from FIFA’s former marketing agency.
Hayatou, a longstanding IOC member and President of Africa’s football confederation (CAF), was alleged by the BBC’s Panorama investigation on Monday to have received 100,000 French francs from the ISL agency in 1995.
The investigation claimed that Hayatou and fellow executive committee members Ricardo Teixeira of Brazil and South American head Nicolas Leoz took the bribes from ISL in return for helping it win lucrative contracts.
Hayatou has been an IOC member since 2001 and sits on its Women and Sport commission. He was also a member of the coordination commission that monitored preparations for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
The IOC is particularly sensitive to corruption allegations after its reputation was severely damaged following the bribery scandal of the 2002 Salt Lake City Games where gifts were exchanged for votes in favour of the US city.
Several IOC members were expelled and others reprimanded, and the organisation has banned travel by its members to candidate cities since then.
An IOC statement read: “The IOC has taken note of the allegations made by BBC Panorama and will ask the programme makers to pass on any evidence they may have to the appropriate authorities. “The IOC has zero tolerance against corruption and will refer the matter to the IOC Ethics Commission.”
The IOC’s response is in contrast to Fifa’s own reaction to the investigation. Fifa insisted yesterday that the allegations were old, and that the “case is closed”.
The programme was broadcast three days before the hosts of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups are elected. Fifa’s executive committee has already lost two of its 24 members after they were suspended earlier this month for offering to sell their votes to undercover reporters.