By Andrew Warshaw

Issa_Hayatou_sweatingSeptember 21 - In an unprecedented and embarrassing U-turn, FIFA tonight backtracked over the appointment of controversial African football powerbroker Issa Hayatou to spearhead the London 2012 football tournament at a time when he is under investigation by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for alleged corruption.

Hayatou had also been appointed head of FIFA's much-prized GOAL project in succession to Mohamed Bin Hammam - banned for life for allegedly offering bribes to Caribbean officials - but in the face of mounting criticism, FIFA sought to change its tune in a bizarre and inexplicable move.

"Due to a technical error, appointments for FIFA Standing Committees have appeared on the FIFA website," a statement said without detailing who was responsible for the gaffe.

"The appointments for the chairman and deputy chairman of the FIFA Standing Committees will be communicated in due course," it said.

"Therefore, Issa Hayatou has not been appointed as chairman of the Organising Committee for the Olympic football tournaments."

Hayatou, a member of FIFA's executive committee and President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) since the 1987, remains under investigation by the IOC following a BBC broadcast just before the vote for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups alleging that he received a payment of ₣100,000 (£13,270/$20,790) in 1995 from the now defunct marketing company ISL.

Hayatou, a member of the IOC since 2001, claimed his conscience was clear and that the money was given to the CAF to celebrate their 40th anniversary.

But IOC President Jacques Rogge referred the allegations to the IOC Ethics Commission, which still have to report their findings, and could expel the 65-year-old as an IOC member if they find him guilty.

"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 said at the time.

"The IOC has zero tolerance against corruption and will refer the matter to the IOC ethics commission."

Six months after the Panorama programme, Hayatou again became embroiled in controversy when a British parliamentary inquiry into England's failed 2018 World Cup bid was told that he was allegedly paid $1.5 million (£970,057/€1.1 million) each to vote for Qatar's 2022 bid.

Qatar beat the United States by a landslide in the final round of voting for the right to host the 2022 tournament, the biggest ever upset in bidding history.

Hayatou described the corruption claim as "pure invention", while Qatar's Football Association denounced the accusations as "serious and baseless" and said they would "remain unproven because they are false."

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September 2011: IOC member under investigation appointed as head of London 2012 football
December 2010: IOC member claims conscience is clear over Panorama bribe claim
November 2010: IOC to investigate Hayatou as fallout from Panorama probe intensifies