Jacques Anouma, former member of the Executive Committee of the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA), has debunked claims that some African bigwigs took bribe to vote for Qatar as host of the 2022 World Cup.
The former president of the Ivorian Football Association has branded the claims as a calculated effort to tarnish his reputation and that of his colleagues on the continent.
He said that, “You have someone who one morning goes on television, decided to say that three Africans including myself would have collected $ 1.5 million to give our vote to Qatar without any proof.
“I will not talk of President Issa Hayatou, nor the Egyptian, which are also mentioned. I will talk about myself. One Phaedra Almajid, a former member of the Qatar Bid Committee who has accused us is not doing so for the first time.
“I (Anouma) repeat that this is not her first time. She had already launched these accusations and they were published in the English parliament hearing. And after, she retracted her allegations, asking us not to sue in court.
“Few months later, she made a statement to say that there are African leaders who were received in a hotel room in Angola without giving names and curiously brings names including mine.”
He challenged the media that “Those who disseminate such information should ensure that what the lady is saying the truth” before going to town.
“She is referring to a period in Angola during the Africa Cup of nations in 2010, on the eve of the General Assembly. Unfortunately for her, I was in Côte d’Ivoire, three days before the General Assembly of CAF, I was in Ivory Coast. So I do not know when she saw me in a hotel room in Angola.
Anouma said of the scandal that has strangled FIFA recently. “For the last three weeks, there are allegations on Qatar in the media. Today the case is in the hand of the Swiss court. Let the Swiss justice go to the end of its investigation to find out who is guilty and who is not,”