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Football | Nigeria

Adamu's son in World Cup bid drama

Samson Adamu, son of suspended Fifa executive committee member, Amos Adamu has been alleged to have received a $1 million offer from 2022 World Cup hosts, Qatar.

According to The Sunday Times of London in its November 18 edition with a front page headline 'World Cup probe over mystery $1m offer,' Samson received the sum "to fund a dinner and workshop on the eve of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa."

"Fifa's top investigator has been called in to examine evidence that the winners of the right to host the 2022 World Cup secretly offered $1m (£630,000) to the son of one of the voters.

"Documents passed to Fifa by The Sunday Times show that the Qatar bid team offered the cash to Samson Adamu, 26, the son of Amos Adamu, the Fifa executive committee (exco) member," The Sunday Times stated in its report.

It is reported that the Qatar bid deputy chief executive, Ali al-Thawadi brokered the deal months before the bidding contest to host the 2022 World Cup.

The Qatar bid deputy chief executive was said to have denied knowledge of the $1 million offer to Adamu's son but lawyers of the Qatar 2022 accepted there were discussions on the issue after they were shown evidence by The Sunday Times.

The Qatar 2022 lawyers also claimed they "backed out of the deal after considering the relevant Fifa rules.”

Fifa has already passed the evidence of The Sunday Times to its chief ethics investigator, Michael Garcia, for scrutiny.

“After receiving these documents, Fifa has immediately forwarded them to Michael J Garcia, independent ethics committee chairman of the investigatory branch. It will be for Michael Garcia to analyse the documents and decide on any potential next steps,” a Fifa spokesman was quoted as saying.

Samson, 26, was said to have used the $1 million to host "300 eminent guests" to a dinner to celebrate Africa’s football legends.

The British newspaper in its report revealed that the gala dinner actually gulped about $220,000, according to invoices it has as evidence.

The report also stated how Samson and al-Thawadi exchanged emails on payment plans to host the football dinner.

Both men were believed to have first met in Luanda, Angola at the Caf congress in January 2010, which The Sunday Times reported was sponsored by Qatar.

Thawadi was said to have emailed Samson five days after their first meeting in Luanda to open up discussions on the proposed deal.

"The agreement is between Kinetic Sports Association, a Swiss company which Samson planned to set up, and a 'private institution' in Qatar which is bidding to host the 2022 Fifa World Cup . . . and wishes to acquire certain exclusive rights in connection with the events in order to promote its bid to host the competition,” reported The Sunday Times.

"The signatories on behalf of Qatar were to be Sheikh bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the bid chairman and sixth son of the emir, and Hassan al- Thawadi, the bid’s chief executive."

Adamu's son was reported to have set up a meeting with the Qataris in London on March 4 to seal the deal with his Swiss lawyer, Daniel Magerle, present.

The newspaper stated that the lawyer had "offered to assist Samson by setting up a Swiss association and a bank account" to help get the $1 million for the football dinner.

“The relationship to Switzerland would probably add a lot of additional credibility to the project,” wrote the Swiss lawyer in an email to Samson as reported by The Sunday Times.

Magerle's attempt to open account with a Swiss bank, UBS, hit a brickwall owing to stringent international rules on financial dealings.

According to The Sunday Times, the email exchanges between both men ended on March 2.

The lawyer has claimed the deal fell through as he has no idea on how Samson got fund later to organise the dinner.

The London-based newspaper said its investigation later revealed that Samson had "sub-contracted the organisation of the dinner to a South African sports event company ."

The dinner was held at the Vodaworld Events conference centre in Midrand, Johannesburg on July 8.

The Sunday Times reported that it has "complied with an official request by Fifa to hand over a cache of emails, invoices and documents relating to the legends’ dinner."

World Cup bidding nations are not allowed to agree or enter into any form of financial dealings with families of the 24 Fifa exco voters.

The tabloid finally revealed that "Samson’s Nigerian company, Kinetic Sports Management, is registered at his father’s high-walled villa in a wealthy suburb of Abuja, Nigeria’s capital" with his brother, Philip, named as co-director.

His father, Amos Adamu, was sacked from his seat as Fifa executive committee and banned for three years from football.

Amos had been filmed by The Sunday Times in September 2010 offering to sell his 2018 World Cup vote for £800,000.

But in a strongly worded statement released to media organisations, according to insidethegames.com, Qatar's 2022 supreme committee categorically denied they had done anything wrong, accusing the Sunday Times of being "malicious and reckless".

"We refute absolutely the allegations," a statement said.

"The article is presented in a manner that suggests an 'offer' was made to a certain individual by the Qatar 2022 Bid Committee.

"The truth is that our Bid Committee, after careful consideration, opted not to sign any agreement with the individual concerned and had no part whatsoever in the 'African Legends Dinner' event, financially or otherwise.

"It is correct that such a project was the subject of discussions, that preliminary communications were exchanged and that a draft agreement came into existence.

"However, upon due consideration being given to all the circumstances of this particular case – and especially to the relevant FIFA rules relating to the obligations of bid committees – a decision was taken by the Qatar 2022 Bid Committee NOT to pursue any involvement in the African Legends Dinner.

"No agreement was signed or otherwise concluded and absolutely no payments of any kind were made.

"No member of the Bid Committee attended the aforementioned dinner.

"All of the above was made unequivocally clear in writing to the Sunday Times before publication.

"The way that the Sunday Times has acted today is both malicious and reckless in the extreme.

"We have maintained close contact with FIFA on this matter and are confident that any documents received by FIFA from the Sunday Times will merely highlight the truth, as outlined above.

"The Qatar 2022 Bid Committee operated to the highest standards of integrity during the bidding process for the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cups, strictly adhering to all FIFA rules and regulations for bidding nations."


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