Samson Adamu denies Qatar 2022 bribery allegations

Monday, 26 November 2012
By Andrew Warshaw

Amos-AdamuNovember 26 - Samson Adamu, son of discredited Nigerian football powerbroker Amos Adamu, has hit back at allegations that he collaborated with the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup bid team in the build up to the ballot almost two years ago.

According to the Sunday Times newspaper, the Gulf state had offered $1 million (£625,000/€780,000) to sponsor a high-profile gala dinner organised by Samson during the World Cup finals in South Africa – six months before the crucial vote.

The paper quoted Qatar 2022 officials as having confirmed that discussions took place but that they were broken off after FIFA's strict bidding rules were taken into consideration.

Samson's father (pictured top) was one of several FIFA Executive Committee members who either were thrown out or resigned in the wake of serious corruption allegations that swirled around the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bid processes.

In Amos' case, he was banned for three years from any involvement in professional football in the run-up to the ballot as a result of a Sunday Times undercover investigation that secretly filmed him offering to sell his vote for the 2018 World Cup for a payment of $1.3 million (£812,000/€1 million) into his personal bank account, which he said he would use to build football pitches in his native Nigeria.

Qatar's 2022 campaign has long come under suspicion but never with any proof of wrongdoing.

The oil-rich Gulf state's campaign was far better funded than those of its rivals but the country has consistently refuted all unsubstantiated allegations of foul play.

Qatar officials responded furiously to the latest Sunday Times allegations, which made global headlines, as soon as they were published – and have now been joined by Samson himself.

The newspaper said it has passed its file to FIFA's chief corruption buster Michael Garcia but Samson says he too will be contacting Garcia.

"The truth is going to come out one way or the other and those who first published the story are going to be embarrassed for misleading the world," a furious Samson told The Star, Johannesburg's leading newspaper.

Hassan Al-Thawadi 26-11-12Hassan Al-Thawadi, the deputy chief executive of the Qatar 2022 bid who reportedly brokered the deal, denies the allegations

The Sunday Times expose was based on email exchanges but according to The Star the emails were handed over to Garcia three months ago by a group of international investigators and only recently by the Sunday Times.

Samson said: "They got it all wrong and this could be a court matter.

"This has been damaging to my reputation and it has affected my family."

He acknowledged that in February 2010, discussions were held over the possibility of Qatar sponsoring the dinner but that it never happened.

FIFA prohibits bidding nations from entering into business deals with families of members of the Executive Committee.

"We didn't know about the FIFA rules but when they were pointed out to us, we stopped the whole deal," Samson was quoted as saying.

Hassan Al-Thawadi, the deputy chief executive of the Qatar 2022 bid who reportedly brokered the deal, also told The Star that there was no case to answer.

"We wanted to market our bid by showing that Qatar cares about Africa and football in general," he was quoted as saying.

"But then we realised we were not allowed to enter into deals with families of those close to FIFA.

"That's when we dropped the whole thing because it wouldn't have benefited us."

Contact the writer of this story at andrew.warshaw@insidethegames.biz


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