Ex-NFF Chief Adamu involved in £1.3m bribery scandal
Nigeria’s former football official, Amos Adamu, was allegedly offered £1.3m to back the Qatar 2022 bid, The PUNCH reports.
Adamu in 2017 was banned for two years by the world governing body FIFA for ethics violations.
The suspension came after he already served a three-year ban in 2010 for accepting bribes in relation to the attribution of the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 tournament to Qatar.
A member of Qatar’s World Cup bid Phaedra Almajid made the allegations in the explosive new Netflix series, FIFA Uncovered on Thursday.
Phaedra Almajid claimed that she was in the room with Qatari official Hassan Al-Thawadi at a hotel in Angola in January 2010 when money was offered to the three men- Adamu, Issa Hayatou of Cameroon and Jacques Anouma Ivory Coast, who were among 24 voters set to pick the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosts later that year.
Qatar won hosting rights for the 2022 tournament in a FIFA vote ahead of Australia, Japan, South Korea, and the USA.
Almajid told the doc, “We were talking about how Africa had been given its chance to host the World Cup and how the Arab world should be given their chance, and then Hassan offered Hayatou $1m for Hayatou’s football federation (Cameroon) and in return, we wanted his vote.
“I remember there just being laughter and then him saying that is not enough, and so the price was upped to £1.3m — just like that. It was just so simple, “We will give you this money for your football federation, you give us your vote and thank you so much.”
“One by one we did the same thing with Anouma and Adamu. $1.5m was offered to each member that evening in exchange for their vote. It was verbal, I never saw money.”
Almajid alleges the offer came at a meeting of African football federations in January 2010, just under a year before the FIFA vote for the 2022 host nation.
All three African officials have denied any wrongdoing.
Almajid claims the proposed money was made to the federations, rather than the individuals themselves.
She added, “It was made very clear the money was going to football, it was never said it is going into your pocket, I do need to emphasise that. Where it ended up I have no idea.
“Before I went back to my hotel room, Hassan told me, ‘You never repeat this ever again to anyone and I was like, ‘OK.’”
Al Thawadi has strongly denied the claims.
He said, “My reaction, especially on the Phaedra situation, it’s frustration.”
“They are inherently false and there are facts on the ground that prove they are false.”
Almajid anonymously revealed the alleged offers to the Sunday Times after being sacked by Qatar’s bid, and later signed a statement withdrawing her claims.
Detailing why, Almajid explained in the doc: “I’m starting to get threats, anonymous calls, emails, social media.
“I was basically told either you sign an affidavit stating that you lied or else we are legally going to come after you.”