18th November, 2010
Nigeriaâ€™s Amos Adamu was early today found guilty by the ethic court of the worldÂ football governing body, FIFA for an alleged bribery allegation exposed by theÂ Sunday Times of London.
The FIFA executive committee members, Adamu and Reynald Temarii of Tahiti wereÂ suspended from all football-related activity for three years and one yearÂ respectively in relation to allegations of corruption regarding World Cup votes.
The pair were implicated in a Sunday Times investigation which accused the duo ofÂ accepting money in return for their vote in the bidding for the World Cup, withÂ reporters from the newspaper posing as representatives of the United States’ 2022Â World Cup bid.
Adamu has already indicated his intention to appeal against the verdict deliveredÂ today by the chairman of FIFA’s ethics committee, Claudio Sulser.
Adamu was fined 10,000 Swiss francs (Â£6,341, $10,118) and Temarii 5,000 Swiss francsÂ (Â£3,170) as part of the sanction against them.
In a separate investigation, the ethics committee found insufficient evidence ofÂ collusion between the bid teams of Spain-Portugal 2018 and Qatar 2022. The FIFAÂ ethics committee had also been conducting an investigation into allegations that theÂ two bid teams had been colluding to trade votes, against bidding regulations.
However, it was announced today the committee “did not find sufficient grounds toÂ reach a conclusion that there was any collusion”.
Adamu has outlined his displeasure at the verdict of the organisation’s ethicsÂ committee and confirmed he will appeal. He pre-empted today’s announcement byÂ releasing a statement indicating his intention to fight the findings.
“I am profoundly disappointed with the Ethics Committee’s findings and had honestlyÂ believed I would be exonerated of any charges by now,” he said. “I am innocent ofÂ all the charges levelled against me by the Ethics Committee and I completely refuteÂ the decision they have made.
“As yet I have not been advised of the grounds of the Ethics Committee’s decisionÂ but regardless, I will be lodging a full appeal against it with immediate effect.”
Meanwhile. the National Sports Commission Chairman and Sports Minister, Ibrahim BioÂ had stated that todayâ€™s verdict will determine the next line of action by theÂ government.
â€œWe are waiting for the final pronouncement from FIFA,â€ he said. He however saidÂ government has zero tolerance for acts of corruption.
â€œWhile the world awaits the final outcome of FIFA investigation, I wish to re-stateÂ emphatically that this government has zero tolerance for acts of corruption at allÂ levels.
â€œIn the event that FIFAâ€™s findings confirm the allegations, Nigerian anti-corruptionÂ agencies would take appropriate action,â€ Bio said.
It would be recalled that undercover reporters from the Sunday Times claiming to beÂ lobbyists for the United States of Americaâ€™s World Cup bid allegedly caught Adamu onÂ video requesting for the sum of N120, 000, 000 ($800,000) with which he planned toÂ set up a couple of artificial pitches in Nigeria in exchange for his vote.
The undercover reporters also allegedly caught Temarii of the Oceania FootballÂ Confederation requesting for the sum of $2 million.
Both officials however denied the allegations that they offered to sell votes,Â saying their filmed sequences were edited to make them appear guilty.
In October, Claudio Sulser, the chairman of FIFAâ€™s ethics committee, said theÂ committee reviewed 90 minutes of video evidence provided by the Sunday Times and hadÂ to provisionally suspend Adamu and Temarii for 30 days in order to conduct a properÂ inquiry.
A video on the Sunday Times website allegedly showed Adamu telling an undercoverÂ reporter that he wanted to build four football fields for $200,000 each and that theÂ money could be paid to him â€œdirectly.â€ When the undercover reporter asked whetherÂ the payment would help Adamu make his decision in favour of the U.S. World Cup bid,Â he responded:
â€œObviously it will have an effect. Of course it will have an effect…BecauseÂ certainly if you are to invest in that, that means you also want the vote.â€