Sports

IOC Member Accused of Taking $1.5M to Vote Qatar for 2022

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By David Gold at Westminster in London

May 10 - Cameroon's International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Issa Hayatou  received a $1.5 million (£917,000) bribe to vote for Qatar 2022 to host the FIFA World Cup, it was alleged here today.

 

Hayatou, the President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and member of the FIFA ruling Executive Committee, as well as a member of the IOC, is already under investigation following claims that he received a payment of 100,000 French francs in 1995 from the now defunct marketing company ISL.

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These latest allegations, however, revealed by Conservative MP Damian Collins, are of a more serious nature.

Collins revealed at the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee looking into England's failed bid to host the 2018 World Cup that The Sunday Times' submission claimed that the bribe was paid to Hayatou and another member of FIFA's Executive Committee, Jacques Anouma from the Ivory Coast.

"They went on to vote for Qatar," Collins said.

Qatar controversially won the right to host the 2022 World Cup after beating the United States in the final round of voting.

But Mike Lee, the former communications director of London 2012 who was a bid advisor to the Qatari bid team, denied the allegations.

Lee insisted that he knew nothing of any improper behaviour on the part of the Qatari team, but was pressed by the Committee on whether it was possible for him to have been unaware of such practise.

"I was working at the highest level of that bid and am not aware of this," said Lee, the founder of Vero Communications who has also worked on Rio's successful bid to host the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics and is representing Pyeongchang, the favourites to be awarded the 2018 Winter Games.

"I would have had a sense if such things were going on."

Hayatou is believed to have been the sole FIFA Executive Committee member to have voted for England's failed 2018 bid.

Jacques Rogge, the President of the IOC, referred the allegations made against Hayatou in the Panorama programme concerning ISL broadcast on BBC last November to the IOC Ethics Commission.

Hayatou claims the money was given to CAF to celebrate their 40th anniversary.

The IOC Ethics Commission still have to report their findings but could expel him if they find him guilty.

Hayatou could now face disciplinary action from FIFA over these latest allegations.

"I was shocked when I am hearing this," said FIFA President Sepp Blatter at a press conference in Zurich.

"Let us have time to digest this.

"First we have to have evidence.

"Then we will act immediately against anyone in breach of our ethical code."

A spokesman for the IOC told insidethegames that they also would investigate the new claims.

"The IOC takes all allegations of corruption very seriously and we would ask for any evidence of wrong doing to be passed to the IOC's Ethics Commission," he said.

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