FIFA will decide through its 24 member Executive Committee the hosts of the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups. As the bidding war reaches its climax, a lot appears to be happening behind the scene. There has been a lot of wheeling and dealing but none would turn out more embarrassing than the alleged request by Dr. Amos Adamu to have £500,000 paid to him for his vote.
According to UK’s Sunday Times, the veteran Nigerian sports administrator was caught on a video footage requesting for the sum. For a country largely regarded as Africa’s capital of financial fraud, this certainly adds to the mud already splattered over our white national colours. It is a blot on our nation’s escutcheon.
While Mr. Adamu has a partner in this quest of vote selling, his appears more blatant and expectedly far more embarrassing. It is not just against the rules of FIFA, it is against every known democratic value and principle. Fingered alongside Adamu is Oceania Football Confederation president Reynald Temarii, but while Temarii wanted a sports academy for his vote, Adamu was said to have requested for £500,000 for his own use. Speaking with undercover journalists posing as United States lobbyists, in the video, Adamu was asked whether the money for a “private project” would have an effect on the way he voted, he replied: “Obviously, it will have an effect. Of course it will, because certainly if you are to invest in that, that means you also want the vote.”
Nothing has yet been heard from FIFA but you will recall that several cases of corruption in the past, against its top ranking officials did not yield any result. Jack Warner, a FIFA Vice President comes to mind.
A 24 member committee will decide by secret ballot on 2nd December who should host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
For a nation seriously battling reputation issues with fraud and corruption, this is indeed a set back in our quest for rebranding. This has not been proven but that this has been speculated should call for concern. Amos Adamu was in charge of the wasteful COJA All Africa Games, a project for which no dime has been accounted for to this day. He was also a principal actor in the recent Nigerian Football Federation FIFA ban issues. Amos Adamu has been to Nigeria’s sports what corruption has been to the nation – a mainstay.
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