FIFA vice-president Issa Hayatou today threatened legal action against BBC Panorama over their claim he accepted a £10,000 bribe - insisting the money was given to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) towards their 40th anniversary celebrations.
The president of African football is now being investigated by the International Olympic Committee - of which he is also a member - following the allegations.
England 2018 had high hopes of winning Hayatou's support in the FIFA executive committee's World Cup vote on Thursday.
Panorama said that according to a list of secret payments made by now defunct marketing company ISL, Hayatou's name appeared next to a cash payment of 100,000 French francs in 1995.
Hayatou, from Cameroon, today said that it was not a bribe but a payment by CAF's former sponsors approved by the confederation's executive committee.
He told Press Association Sport: "This money was not for me it was for the 40th anniversary of CAF.
"What Panorama also did is that they are saying I have been bribed now rather than something that happened 16 years ago.
"This was for the 40th anniversary of CAF. At that time ISL was the sponsor of CAF and they give the money to CAF and not to me, and the executive committee of CAF accepted it and approved it."
Hayatou said he was now considering legal action against Panorama.
He added: "I have got an appointment with my lawyers, I will talk to them and I will take it from there."
The IOC said their ethics commission will look into the claims against Hayatou.
The IOC said in a statement: "The IOC has taken note of the allegations made by BBC Panorama and will ask the programme makers to pass on any evidence they may have to the appropriate authorities.
"The IOC has a zero tolerance against corruption and will refer the matter to the IOC ethics commission."
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