18 Oct 2010

Tonga football administrator says he led on undercover reporters

8:08 pm on 18 October 2010

The head of Tonga's Football Federation says he met undercover reporters posing as lobbyists, but already knew they were not legitimate.

Britain's Sunday Times newspaper claims it secretly filmed the head of the Oceania Football Confederation, Reynald Temarii of Tahiti and Amos Adamu of Nigeria negotiating with reporters to secure a successful world cup bid for the United States.

The general secretary of Tonga's federation, Ahongalu Fusimalohi, says he was contacted by someone posing as a representative of a conglomerate of American companies supporting America's bid.

He says they talked of a board membership, worth about 100,000 US dollars.

"The reporter was just so persistent, putting me into a position where I just had to agree with what he's suggesting to me, but then my intention was never to tell them the truth, and my intentions were to lie to them, until I found out who they really were. So I found it like a joke, enjoying lying to them, because they were lying to me as well."

Ahongalu Fusimalohi says he is certain the allegations against Mr Temarii are not true.