By Nick Butler
No investigation will be launched by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) into two members potentially implicated in the Qatar 2022 World Cup scandal until the ongoing inquiry is completed by the FIFA Ethics Committee.
But the IOC, claimed, they are "aware" of the allegations.
This follows The Sunday Times in London revealing it had seen millions of secret documents which allegedly prove football officials were paid a total of $5 million (£3 million/€3.6 million) to back Qatar's bid.
Issa Hayatou, the IOC member from Cameroon who is also President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), is mentioned on numerous occasions in these documents, while Burundi's Lydia Nsekera, the first female member of the FIFA Executive Committee, is also named.
Nsekera, President of the Burundi Football Federation until 2013, is allegedly among 25 African Football Association officials presented with gifts amounting to $5,000 (£3,000/€3,600) when invited to a special meeting in Kuala Lumpur.
Hayatou, meanwhile, was reportedly present at a "lavish junket" in Doha at which delegates were lobbied over the 2022 bid, a month before Qatar 2022 announced an exclusive $1m (£600,000/€730,000) deal to sponsor CAF's Annual Congress in Angola.
The IOC did not dismiss these reports, and this certainly leaves open the possibility that an investigation may be opened by its Ethics Commission in the future.
But it is now awaiting the findings of a FIFA investigation, led by New York lawyer Michael Garcia, that has spent two years looking into whether both the 2018 and 2022 World Cup winning bids were chosen fairly, and is due to conclude its probe next week.
"We are aware of the report in The Sunday Times involving the FIFA World Cup," IOC spokesperson Emmanuelle Moreau told insidethegames.
"At this stage, however, it seems like this is primarily a matter for FIFA to look into and to comment on.
"We understand that the Investigatory Chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee is about to complete its investigation and that it will submit a report to the Adjudicatory Chamber."
"We await the outcome of the FIFA procedure."
Hayatou was also allegedly sent World Cup tickets worth $6,300 (£3,800/€4,300) to his hotel suite in 2010.
But the CAF have already strongly hit out at allegations that he is involved, claiming in a statement that the allegations were "fanciful" and part of a wider "smear campaign".
The statement added: "Mr Hayatou has never received any money from Mr [Mohamed] Bin Hammam, the Emir of Qatar or any member of the Qatar 2022 Bidding Committee."
It is not the first time allegations of corruption have been levelled against the Cameroonian, who was accused in 2011 of taking a bribe of $1.5 million (£923,000/€1.1 million) from Qatar for his vote.
The Ethics Committee's report into the two World Cup bids is expected to be submitted to FIFA's Adjudicatory Chamber by the end of July.
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]
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