FIFA pledges to back board members
FIFA has insisted it will back its board members accused of corruption unless evidence is provided to back up allegations after an ex-worker from Qatar’s successful 2022 World Cup bid retracted claims that the country bribed officials.
FIFA has confirmed it has received an email from Phaedra Almajid, who was replaced as Qatar’s international media officer during the 2022 tender process, confirming that she had “lied” when making accusations about corruption surrounding World Cup bidding process. Qatar secured the hosting rights to the tournament in December 2010.
“When only allegations are made and no evidence is given, FIFA always stands firmly by its members,” read a statement from FIFA. Almajid had originally claimed that African Football Confederation president Issa Hayatou, Ivory Coast FIFA member Jacques Anouma and Nigeria’s suspended official Amos Adamu were paid US$1.5 million to vote for Qatar.
Adamu and Reynald Temarii of Tahiti were suspended from FIFA’s 24-member Executive Committee after an internal inquiry heard evidence of vote-buying in the build-up to the World Cup vote. Almajid pulled out of a planned meeting with FIFA in May after world football’s governing body refused to agree to a number of demands including “an unlimited witness protection program”.