By Duncan Mackay at the Ritz Carlton in Tokyo

Issa Hayatou_behind_microphoneDecember 16 - Issa Hayatou is "incorruptible", a top African football official who worked on England's bid for the 2018 FIFA World Cup has claimed, despite a stain being placed on his character after he was given a reprimand by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The Cameroonian, the President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), was earlier this month warned by the IOC's Ethics Commission after they investigated allegations broadcast by the BBC's Panorama that he had received 100,000 French Francs in 1995 from ISL.

Hayatou has always claimed that the money was given to him by FIFA's former marketing agents to help organise the 40th anniversary dinner of the CAF but the Ethics Commission ruled that even though he produced documentary evidence that showed the funds were paid to the organisation that did "not guarantee that these payments were indeed made into the CAF accounts".

Tunde Adelakun_at_press_conference_with_FA_officialsBut now Tunde Adelakun (pictured), a Nigerian who worked on England's disastrous World Cup bid as a consultant, has come forward to defend Hayatou. 

"I have had a personal and official relationship with Hayatou over the years," said Adelakun, the owner of New African Soccer, a website that covers the sport in the continent.

"During these times, he has remained incorruptible.

"When the England 2018 delegation solicited for his support, he assured me that he would vote for the England bid.

"He never asked for anything in return and kept his word till the end.

"Despite the impact of the Panorama programme on BBC on the eve of the voting for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup, he assured me that England remained his choice for the 2018 World Cup.

"He was the only person who voted for England aside Geoff Thompson [who is from England]."

Hayatou is here in the Japanese capital in his role as vice-president of FIFA, attending the meeting of the ruling Executive Committee, his first public appearance since the IOC announced he had been reprimanded.

The ISL case is at the top of the agenda at the meeting with FIFA President Sepp Blatter having promised to publish the report, an even more sensitive topic following the decision of Brazilian Joao Havelange, the President of FIFA between 1974 and 1998, deciding to resign from the IOC rather than face the prospect of a two-year suspension for his part in the scandal for allegedly receiving $1 million (£639,000/€746,000) from the Swiss company which collapsed in 2001 with debts of $300 million. (£192 million/€224 million).

"I strongly believe that Hayatou will be cleared when the report is published," Adelakun told GNA Sports.

"I acknowledge that most people do not always agree with him, but his credibility and accountability remains intact."

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

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