Can FIFA-self probe reveal the whole truth?

Two FIFA executive committee members are under investigation over allegations that they sold their votes in the contest to host the world cup of 2018 and 2022. They are Nigerian Amos Adam and Reynald Temarii from Tahiti.They were approached by the British newspaper Sunday Times reporters, posing as lobbyists for a number of private American companies intent on winning the world cup for USA.

Two FIFA executive committee members are under investigation over allegations that they sold their votes in the contest to host the world cup of 2018 and 2022. They are Nigerian Amos Adam and Reynald Temarii from Tahiti.
They were approached by the British newspaper Sunday Times reporters, posing as lobbyists for a number of private American companies intent on winning the world cup for USA.

The paper said Adam wanted US$800,000 for his vote to develop sports in Nigeria while Temarii who asked for US$2.3 million needed the money for a football academy in Auckland.

When the news of this deal surfaced, the two men denied any wrong doing. FIFA President, Sepp Blatter, denied the organization was corrupt.

He later told a news conference in Zurich: “Our society is full of devils and some of these devils you find in football” The number of devils in FIFA has been on the rise, with or without Blatter’s knowledge. reports indicate that four former executive committee members are being investigated for trading cash for favours. “Rumours” that two bidding Nations were colluding with regard to the up coming competitions are part of the probe.

The Live journal says in part: “FIFA has been the subject of stunning allegations and ethical misconduct, some of which have ended in courts” They include fraud, illegal ticket reselling, bribing referees, gifts and jewelry given to FIFA officials and questions over kickbacks. Media reported Zen-Ruffinen,  a former FIFA senior official, alleging financial mismanagement in the organization. He was also recorded suggesting FIFA voters could be bribed with money and women.

According to swissinfor.ch, even “Blatter’s election was surrounded by rumours of bribery”. The Nigerian Sunday Trust is unhappy about FIFA’s arm-twisting behaviour whenever African governments try to address corruption in their soccer associations. When Kenya Government sacked the country’s football federation for misuse of funds, FIFA suspended the country.

The officials left office with a debt of US$320,000 which they could not explain. When Zambia tried to investigate the transfer of the National team player, Emmanuel Mayuka, to an Israel club, FIFA threatened to suspend Zambia and the investigation was shelved.

The latest victim was Nigeria when President Goodluck
Jonathan decided to suspend the national team from all competitions after their poor showing in the world cup.

He also needed the N.900 million allocated to the team properly accounted for. As a result, Nigeria was given three days to withdraw the decision or face a two-year ban to affect the national team, club matches in Africa, referees, as well as the cash flows from FIFA to National associations – including the US$8 million, then due to Nigeria for their brief role in the world cup in South Africa.

Ironically, it was the man now at the centre of FIFA vote-selling allegation investigation – Amos Adam – who was sent to ask the president not to interfere.

Now that FIFA’s integrity is in doubt, does it have any moral authority to frustrate efforts by governments which insist on proper fund management and frown on unethical conduct in their sports associations?

FIFA’s financial and technical assistance are certainly important but governments also have a moral responsibility to ensure discipline and accountability in national teams.

Anti- corruption watchdogs are now wondering whether FIFA has the will to clean its own house; Transparency International is calling for an independent inquiry into corruption allegations in the world football body.

Meanwhile, the world awaits the outcome of the investigation to be published in “mid November” as Blatter continues to promise that the probe will “bring back credibility”   

Vedaste Kambanda, is an employee a of Rwanda Television

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