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SBD Global/November 19, 2012/International Football

FIFA's Top Cop To Study Evidence That Qatar Bid Team Offered Cash To Voter's Son

FIFA’s top investigator has been called upon "to examine evidence that the winners of the right to host the 2022 World Cup secretly offered $1M to the son of one of the voters," according to the Calvert & Blake of the SUNDAY TIMES. Documents "passed to FIFA by the Sunday Times show the Qatar bid team offered the cash" to 26-year-old Samson Adamu, the son of FIFA exec committee member Amos Adamu. The money was "to fund a dinner and workshop on the eve of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, though it cost a fraction of the sum offered." The deal was brokered by Qatar 2022 Deputy CEO Ali al-Thawadi "months before the contest in Dec. '10." He "denied knowledge of the offer when contacted last week." However, after reviewing the evidence, Qatar 2022 lawyers "accepted there had been discussions and a contract had been drawn up," but said the team had later backed out of the deal after considering the "relevant FIFA rules" (SUNDAY TIMES, 11/18).

FIFA INVESTIGATES: In London, Owen Gibson noted FIFA said that it was "contacted with the allegations on Friday and the Sunday Times immediately provided all evidence relating to them." A spokesperson said, "After receiving these documents, FIFA has immediately forwarded them to Michael J. Garcia, independent ethics committee chairman of the investigatory branch." However, the Qatar 2022 organizing committee has accused the Sunday Times of being "malicious and reckless" in its presentation of the discussions, but they "admitted that they took place." The committee on Sunday insisted it "operated to the highest standards of integrity during the bidding process for the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cup, strictly adhering to all FIFA rules and regulations for bidding nations." It added it was making "good progress" with preparations for the tournament. Garcia will look into the "opaque and controversial bidding process" (GUARDIAN, 11/18).

EXAMINING THE PAST: Also in London, Adam Shergold noted Samson Adamu spoke at the June '10 dinner in Johannesburg, South Africa "assuring a star-studded crowd of African football legends that his companies had 'no commercial affiliates.'" His father Amos Adamu was "among 300 eminent guests at the free event who enjoyed a three-course dinner and traditional African music to celebrate the achievement" of past heroes. He was "secretly filmed in Sept. '10 offering to sell his vote for the 2018 World Cup, which went to Russia for an £800,000 payment into a personal bank account." He claimed that he would use the money "to build football pitches in his native Nigeria." He was "also filmed saying that his bid for the 2022 finals was not for sale because it was going to Qatar." As a result, "he was sacked from the exec committee, stripped of his World Cup vote and banned from football for three years" (DAILY MAIL, 11/18).
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