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Nigeria: FIFA Bribery Scandal

Posted by Admin on Oct 31st, 2010 and filed under Afrique, Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry


Abuja – The executive committee of Federation of International Football Associations has suspended two of its members over bribery allegations that surfaced in a recent newspaper report.

The allegations of bribes were levelled against CAF Vice President and FIFA Executive Committee members Dr. Amos Adamu of Nigeria and his Tahitian counterpart, Mr Reynald Temarii. Reporters from London’s Sunday Times, posing as agents of a potential host country for the forthcoming World Cup tournaments, apparently filmed both men as they offered to sell their votes in exchange for their support. The Nigerian was filmed requesting for $800,000 from the undercover reporters in return for a “yes” vote in the FIFA World Cup selection process billed for December 2 in Zurich, Switzerland.

Following the report, FIFA mandated its Ethics Committee to investigate the allegations. Last week, the committee provisionally suspended Adamu and Temarii from all football related activities pending full investigation. It equally suspended four other low-ranking officials in connection with the same allegations. England is bidding for the 2018 World Cup against Russia, with Spain/Portugal and Holland/Belgium angling for joint bids. Hosting rights for the 2022 tournament is between Australia, USA, Qatar, Japan and South Korea.

In Nigeria, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has weighed in, pledging to conduct its own investigation on grounds that the allegations bordered on Nigeria’s integrity. It has requested for more information from FIFA to enable it undertake its own enquiry. Adamu’s name is not new to football-related scandals, although none has been proven to be directly linked to him. The newspaper sting operation appeared to have provided some light with which to examine previous episodes.

As administrator of the Nigerian Football Federation for ten years, Adamu’s tenure was a contentious one. His next job as Executive Director/CEO of the 8th All African Games followed a similar trajectory. The games’ organisation, particularly its financing, was dogged by controversy and allegations of massive corruption. Adamu became an official of both the Confederation of African Football, (CAF) and ipso facto, member of the executive board of FIFA. FIFA itself has been acussed in the past of being a dictatorial and corrupt organisation, thereby leading to a lot of interest in how the body handles this case. In his response to the scandal, Adamu denied the allegations and claimed that the tell-tale video clips were manipulated. He asserted that the enquiry would establish his innocence.

The scandal comes at a very bad period for Nigeria. The country has witnessed a lot of ups and downs in its football administration in recent times. On the sporting field, its image is soiled either by allegations of graft or by doping scandals. Nigeria is eager, as it should, to prove its innocence in all these. Football for the country is more than a sport; it is the country’s elixir against socio-economic and unending political woes. It is a game of passion in which the average citizen comes out as patriot, regardless of ethnic background or creed. This is why football administration and all those who are connected with it should see their assignment as a national call to duty and weigh their actions either on the local scene or at international fora.

It is thus not a surprise that Nigerians would be eager to follow the investigation already launched by FIFA with concerted interest. FIFA should ensure that it gets to the root of this particular scandal not only for the purpose of protecting its integrity, but more importantly to establish the truth of the quality of their country’s representative. Whoever is found guilty in this scam should not be merely suspended; they should face the full range of sanctions. FIFA’s image as the global football clearing house is at stake, and so is the concern of a country of 150 million people with more than a passion for the game of football. This investigation should be conducted with seriousness, and assiduousness and the report made public.

Daily Trust |31 October 2010 |Daily Trust (Abuja)|

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