16 Nov 2010

FIFA hearing into vote-selling allegations begins

8:23 am on 16 November 2010

Football's governing body FIFA has begun a three-day investigation into corruption allegations involving Oceania's representative.

Two members of FIFA's executive committee Reynald Temarii, of Tahiti, and Nigerian Amos Adamu of Nigeria have been suspended pending the outcome of the hearing into allegations they offered to sell their votes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids.

FIFA's ethics committee is also investigating allegations of collusion between bidding nations, which would be against the rules, Reuters reports.

Mr Adamu and Mr Temarii were suspended after being accused of offering to sell their votes to undercover reporters from The Sunday Times newspaper posing as lobbyists for an American consortium.

Mr Temarii, the president of the Oceania Football Confederation, is alleged to have asked an undercover reporter for $NZ3 million to fund a sports academy at the confederation's headquarters in Auckland in return for his votes.

Both have denied the allegations and expressed confidence that they will be absolved.

A FIFA spokesperson has confirmed that the hearing had started but could not give any more details. The committee is expected to announced its decision on Thursday.

Russia and England are bidding to host the 2018 World Cup, along with joint bids from Spain/Portugal and Belgium/Netherlands.

Japan, South Korea, Australia, United States and Qatar are the candidates for 2022.