FIFA presidential contender said to have offered $2m in cash as funds for ‘football development’
Mohamed Bin Hammam is accused by FIFA of offering $40,000 to Caribbean soccer officials as part of his pitch to become president of the governing body, two people familiar with the situation said.
Bin Hammam, the head of soccer in Asia, is alleged to have offered about $2m in cash to delegates as funds for “football development,” said the people, who asked for anonymity because they weren’t authorized to comment publicly on the case.
“I completely deny any allegations of wrongdoing either intentionally or unknowingly while I was in the Caribbean,” bin Hammam said in a statement yesterday.
Bin Hammam and co-accused Jack Warner, the head of soccer in North and Central America, must give their defense by May 27, FIFA said in a statement yesterday. A disciplinary hearing will follow on May 29, three days before the June 1 presidential election between bin Hammam and incumbent Sepp Blatter of Switzerland. Warner denies wrongdoing.
Bin Hammam, a 62-year-old Qatari, said on his website that the allegations about his meeting with Caribbean officials were “little more than a tactic being used by those who have no confidence in their own ability to emerge successfully from the FIFA presidential election.”
The evidence presented to FIFA includes photographs of the money, e-mails, text messages and signed affidavits from officials that corroborate the allegations, one of the people said, adding that the inquiry started May 15.
FIFA spokesman Alex Stone declined to comment. The person who answered the telephone at the Caribbean Football Union’s headquarters said no one was available to comment.
Blazer, Concacaf’s general secretary, didn’t respond to telephone messages or e-mails seeking comment. Concacaf spokesman Steve Torres didn’t return a voicemail seeking comment.
The case is the latest corruption scandal to hit FIFA, a not-for-profit organization that banks $1bn in revenue annually.
The news comes days after Blatter refused to rule out a re-run of the vote to host the 2022 World Cup if allegations that Qatar paid millions of dollars in bribes to secure its win are proven.
A former member of the Qatar 2022 bid team allegedly told the Sunday Times the Gulf state paid FIFA members Issa Hayatou and Jacques Anouma $1.5m each to secure their vote.
The whistleblower is due to go before a panel in Zurich this week to give evidence in person.
Qatar’s bid team on Monday branded the corruption allegations as “completely false” and based on “worthless” evidence.
“These individuals… do not state when the alleged bribes were to be paid, how the negotiations with the individuals concerned had been conducted or crucially how they came to know of the alleged bribes,” the team said in a statement.
The allegations had been made by an “embittered ex-employee… plainly with a significant axe to grind”, the statement said.
Bin Hammam said earlier this month in a blog on his personal website that FIFA had been “dragged through the mud” over a rash of corruption claims that showed “something urgently needs to be done to improve and enhance" its image.
These are the top stories in this week. All are throwing mud before the election. After June 2nd when election is over all are back to normal and these two has to work togethr.
FIFA sucks...can't we all see it? It's a beautiful game sullied by despots...and you think Bin Hammam will be any different?
These are the top stories in this week. All are throwing mud before the election. After June 2nd when election is over all are back to normal and these two has to work together.