x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Fifa officials to face hearings

An executive committee member faces an ethics panel hearing after being implicated in a bribery scandal involving the vote for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

ZURICH // Amos Adamu, a Fifa executive committee member, will face an ethics panel hearing tomorrow after being implicated in a bribery scandal involving the vote for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

The Nigerian said at Fifa headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, yesterday that his hearing is set for the same day another Fifa official, Reynald Temarii, faces a similar case.

Adamu declined to comment later after meeting with Sepp Blatter, the Fifa president, who has promised an "in-depth investigation" into the allegations against the two officials.

The probe follows a report in Britain's The Sunday Times newspaper - based on a sting investigation by undercover reporters - that Adamu and Temarii offered to sell their votes in the bidding for the World Cup.

The Fifa vote on the 2018 and 2022 World Cups is scheduled for December 2 in Zurich.

The Fifa ethics committee can enforce any punishment in Fifa's disciplinary code, including banning officials "from taking part in any kind of football-related activity".

Temarii, the Oceania Football Confederation president, said on Sunday that he made a mistake in talking to the reporters, who secretly filmed him asking for NZ$3 million (Dh8.45m) to fund a football academy in Auckland, New Zealand.

Adamu was also secretly filmed by the reporters, who posed as lobbyists for a consortium of American companies, saying that he wanted £500,000 (Dh2.92m) to build four artificial football pitches in Nigeria.

Adamu told the reporters he would want the money paid to him personally, saying: "Certainly if you are to invest that, that means you also want the vote."

He offered a "guarantee" to vote for the Americans in the 2018 race, but said they would be his second preference in 2022, for which Qatar is among the bidders.