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FIFA launches investigation into World Cup vote corruption

FIFA is investigating claims that senior officials offered to sell their votes in the bidding race for the 2018 World Cup. The allegations implicate delegates from the African and Oceania confederations.

Football on pitch

FIFA is looking into the corruption claims

FIFA is investigating claims that senior officials offered to sell their votes in the bidding race for the 2018 World Cup. The allegations implicate delegates from the African and Oceania confederations.

"FIFA has already requested all the information and documents related to this matter and is awaiting to receive this material," a statement from football's world governing body said.

"In the meantime, FIFA is not in a position to provide any further comments on this matter," the statement added.

Amos Adamu

Adamu, left, offered his vote for 570,000 euros, the newspaper said

An undercover investigation by the British Sunday Times newspaper alleges that Amos Adamu, a Nigerian member of the FIFA executive committee, asked for $800,000 (570,000 euros) to endorse one of the bid candidates.

The undercover journalists posed as lobbyists for a United States business consortium asking Adamu to vote for the US bid in the 2018 event in return for cash.

The newspaper also said Reynald Temarii, a FIFA vice-president and president of the Oceania Football Confederation, wanted three million New Zealand dollars (1.6 million euros) for a sports academy.

'Best chance' for bidding race offered by bribe

Any deals during the bidding process for a World Cup are strictly forbidden under FIFA's rules, but the Sunday Times report said officials, past and present, told reporters that paying bribes offered their best chance of securing a successful bid.

The money requested by Adamu, the president of the West African Football Union, was intended to pay for four artificial football pitches in Nigeria, but he said it should be paid to him personally.

Reynald Temarii

Temarii wanted 1.6 million euros for his vote

"Certainly if you are to invest that, that means you also want the vote," he is reported as saying, adding that the payments should be in two stages, half now and half after the vote on the World Cup host country on December 2.

Gara Gombe, a veteran football administrator in Nigeria who has been a long-time critic of the NFF, said the country should have its own independent investigation in the allegations.

"This is an embarrassment not only for Amos Adamu but also for the country as a whole," Gombe said.

England , Russia, Spain/Portugal, or Netherlands/Belgium?

The Sunday Times reported that Adamu said he had already agreed with someone else to back a rival bid in the 2022 contest, which is also voted on December 2, but agreed that the United States would be his second preference.

England is one of the front-runners to host the 2018 World Cup but is up against strong competition from Russia, Spain-Portugal and Netherlands-Belgium.

Author: Gabriel Borrud (AFP/dpa)
Editor: Andreas Illmer

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