Russian World Cup bid denies latest allegationsBy DPA, IANS
Sunday, October 31, 2010
LONDON - Russia’s 2018 football World Cup bid team Sunday denied fresh allegations that they had offered inducements to secure votes.
Andreas Herren, international communications and media chief for the Russian bid, went public after The Sunday Times sought a response to claims that Russia had offered inducements to Nigerian delegate Amos Adamu.
Adamu was suspended two weeks ago pending an inquiry, after being secretly videoed apparently accepting an inducement from a journalist posing as a lobbyist for one of the bid teams. Adamu has denied any wrongdoing.
According to the correspondence between The Sunday Times and the Russian bid team, Adamu allegedly told an undercover reporter that the Russians had “offered ‘co-operation’ in building facilities and offering training to players.”
“The suggestion,” the journalist said, “was that such offers would be made in exchange for his vote.”
Herren’s response was unequivocal.
“The Russia-2018 bid committee is indeed promoting Russia’s bid among the members of the international football family and the FIFA executive committee members,” he said.
“As part of this effort, representatives of the bid committee travel to major international football events presenting the merits of Russia’s bid. An essential element of this job is welcoming FIFA executive committee members to Russia, which is not prohibited by FIFA bidding regulations and has always been done in conformity with FIFA rules, ie, with due notification of the FIFA secretary general.
“Mr Amos Adamu was indeed visiting Russia on Aug 28-31 this year. During his stay in Moscow he was introduced to the key elements of Russia’s bid through a series of presentations and venue tours.
However, we would like to categorically state that never was he approached with any offers of assistance in pitch construction or players’ training or any other partnership.”
The Sunday Times did not publish any fresh claims Sunday from Adamu regarding Russia, and Herren said the Russian bid would regard any suggestion from him that he had been offered anything for his vote “as speculation and unfounded.”
England is competing for the right to host the 2018 tournament against a Russian bid and joint bids from Spain/Portugal and Netherlands/Belgium.