Fifa suspend six officials

Pa,Martyn Ziegler
Thursday 18 November 2010 14:10

One of FIFA's most senior figures has become the first official from the organisation ever to be banned for bribery after six officials were punished following a corruption scandal.

The pair were implicated in a Sunday Times investigation which accused the duo of accepting money in return for their vote in the bidding for the World Cup, with reporters from the newspaper posing as representatives of the United States' 2022 World Cup bid.

Adamu has already indicated his intention to appeal against the verdict delivered today by the chairman of FIFA's ethics committee Claudio Sulser.

Adamu was fined 10,000 Swiss francs (£6,341) and Temarii 5,000 Swiss francs (£3,170) as part of the sanction against them.

In a separate investigation, the ethics committee found insufficient evidence of collusion between the bid teams of Spain-Portugal 2018 and Qatar 2022.

The FIFA ethics committee had also been conducting an investigation into allegations that the two bid teams had been colluding to trade votes, against bidding regulations.

However, it was announced today the committee "did not find sufficient grounds to reach a conclusion that there was any collusion".

The ethics committee also issued suspensions to four other FIFA officials implicated in the Sunday Times investigation, all of whom are former executive committee members.

Ismael Bhamjee of Botswana was handed a four-year ban from all football-related activity, while Amadou Diakite of Mali and Ahongalu Fusimalohi of Tonga were suspended for three years and Tunisian official Slim Aloulou for two. All four were also fined 10,000 Swiss francs.

Qatar's bid chief executive Hassan Al-Thawadi welcomed the announcement that they had been cleared of collusion.

He said: "We were always confident of this outcome because we have conducted ourselves throughout the campaign adhering to the highest ethical standards.

"This puts an end to the rumours and hearsay which have dominated the agenda in recent weeks. We have maintained a dignified silence to allow FIFA to deal with this issue. FIFA have now done so, they have given us a clean bill of health and it is time to move on."

Temarii's lawyer Geraldine Lesieur accepted that his appeal will not be held before the December 2 World Cup vote - a blow to Australia and England who had counted on his support.

She said: "He has got mixed emotions - the most important thing for him was to be cleared of corruption. It is extremely strange - he was not questioned about the problem of confidentiality."

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