A Nigerian FIFA official working directly as an executive member of the World organisation has caused outrage by offering to take bribe to sell his bidding especially denying Nigeria as a bidder for the coveted competition, come 2018.
Amos Adamu, Nigeria’s FIFA representative caused international uproar as he has dragged bidding of the game into discredit with the offer.
The allegation has dragged bidding process for the 2018 World Cup down throwing World Cup bidding into turmoil after the Nigeria and another official were accused of offering to sell their votes in the contest in return for cash.
The allegations centre on Reynald Temarii, the president of the Oceania Football Confederation who hails from Tahiti, and Nigerian Amos Adamu, a Fifa executive committee member, who will both have a vote when the secret ballot to decide the destination of the 2018 World Cup – which England hope to host – takes place at Fifa headquarters on Dec 2.
Temarii is accused of demanding around £1.5 million from undercover Sunday Times journalists in order to build a sports academy, while Adamu was videotaped asking for around £500,000 – half of which was to be paid upfront – for a “personal project”.
Bidding countries, officials and national football associations are strictly prohibited from arranging deals in exchange for votes under Fifa rules.
In both cases, the undercover reporters were posing as working for an American company, soliciting votes for the USA bid for the 2018 tournament. There is no suggestion of wrongdoing from the American bid team.
“Obviously it will have an effect,” Adamu says, in response to one of the journalists asking if their donation – which was to be made directly to him, rather than through the Nigerian Football Association – would be able to secure a vote for the USA.
“Of course it will have an effect. Because certainly if you are to invest in that [the sports pitches in Africa], you also want the vote. That is the proposal if you are going to spend money on it.”
The claims are certain to provoke dismay among the hierarchy at Fifa – a body which has been dogged by allegations of corruption – and will also cast doubt on whether England’s bid for the 2018 tournament will receive a fair hearing.
England are one of four bids left in the running for the competition in eight years’ time, along with Russia, and joint offers from Spain and Portugal and Holland and Belgium.
USA withdrew from the bidding for 2018 last week, opting instead to focus on competing for the 2022 tournament.
But England bid officials, who are not implicated in any wrongdoing, will be concerned at claims that a former member of the Fifa executive committee warned that England’s chances of hosting the tournament would be damaged if they did not offer deals to corrupt officials.
“England have got all the good reasons why they should host it but they don’t strike deals,” the unnamed official said. “It’s sad but true.”
Amadou Diakite, who sits on Fifa’s referees’ committee, is alleged to have told the same reporters that they should offer bribes of around $1 million to officials. “Leaving the member to decide what he is going to do with the amount is the safest way to get his vote,” he said.
Fifa have insisted they will study the allegations.
In 2006, Adamu spoke to BBC on how he would influence the body to get government to involve in foot ball affairs.
The story Date 14th June 2006
Nigeria‘s Amos Adamu has set himself an audacious target of changing Fifa’s attitude towards government involvement in football affairs.
The latest recruit to the world body’s 24-man executive committee told BBC Sport that “my friends at Fifa must be educated on the role that governments play in Africa”.
The Zurich-based world body takes a dim view of government interference in football affairs.
Fifa has over the years clashed with politicians across the continent over the issue, most notably in Guinea, Nigeria, Kenya and Malawi.
But Adamu feels Fifa’s resolute insistence on the independence of football associations and their decision-making processes does not take into account the reality on the ground in Africa.
“Fifa must know that 99% of football associations in Africa depend on their governments for survival,” said Adamu, who is also a Caf executive committee member. “Therefore, if football is to develop in Africa, there must be a working relationship between governments and football administrators.
“I’m sure Fifa is not anti-government so somebody must tell them that each time African teams want to travel, they ask government for money and they must be held to account.
Adamu, by far the most visible – and controversial – of sports administrators in Nigeria, concedes that his call for a Fifa rethink will court controversy.
“I know some won’t like me for saying it but I’m not calling for governments to control football.
“Why are we deceiving ourselves by saying governments must not be involved when they have all the resources?”
Adamu also threw the gauntlet at his critics in Nigeria, asserting that “their efforts to malign me” would not succeed.
“I know that I’m a very controversial figure in Nigeria but most of my critics are generally anti-establishment and don’t like anyone who works for the government.
“As Director of Sport, my job is to implement government policy and there are many who don’t like it when I insist on doing things by the book.”
Asked how he proposed to convince a sceptical public that he had not bribed his way to Fifa, Adamu told BBC Sport that “corrupt people go to jail, not Fifa”.
“I believe in accountability and nobody can blackmail me into doing what’s wrong,” Adamu said.
“A lot of people want you to do what’s wrong and if you refuse to comply, they go out and scandalise you but truth is always constant.”