2 June 2014

Africa: CAF President Hayatou Denies Sunday Times Allegations

Photo: 2010 FIFA OC
CAF President Issa Hayatou (file photo).

press release

The President of the Confederation Africaine de Football (CAF) and Vice President of FIFA, Issa Hayatou has denied categorically the allegations of corruption published by the UK Sunday Times in its edition of 1st June 2014.

Before publication of the article, Mr Issa Hayatou received an email on May 30, 2014 at 18:21 from one of the Sunday Times' representatives, Heidi Blake, summoning the CAF President to respond to questions sent by e-mail before the next day, 31 May 2014, at 16:00.

The email expressed fanciful allegations that Mr Hayatou would have received valuable gifts from Mr Bin Hammam and would have also been greatly pampered during a tour in Doha in December 2009. The CAF President never attended events from invitations of Mr Bin Hammam either in Doha or Kuala Lumpur.
The Sunday Times representative also carried a number of serious accusations against Mr Hayatou, which included allegations that Mr Bin Hammam, as President at the time of the committee of the FIFA Goal Project would have favoured the Cameroonian federation with a project worth US$400 000 in exchange of support and votes for Qatar. Yet the allegation "demonstrated cruel ignorance" of the functions of FIFA bodies.

In FIFA Committees, decisions are not taken by presidents of the Committees unilaterally but are collective decisions. As current president of the FIFA Development Committee, Mr Hayatou understands how any such Committee programmes are planned and decided.
The Sunday Times claimed just before 2 December 2010, Mr Hayatou received (60) World Cup match tickets from Mr Bin Hammam. But there is no mention of which World Cup is being referred to; whether it was 2010 or the 2014?

As Chairman of the Organising Committee of the 2010 World Cup and vice-president of FIFA, does Mr Hayatou need anybody to offer him match tickets for the World Cup as gifts? Is he not justified and entitled in his positions to receive match tickets?

Despite the ridiculous allegations, the CAF president has decided to answer to those accusations through this statement.
On one hand, Mr Hayatou has never received any money from Mr Bin Hammam, the Emir of Qatar or any member of the Qatar 2022 Bidding Committee; on the other hand the Sunday Times asked Mr Hayatou what the subject of the meeting was between the Emir of Qatar and President of Cameroon.


Mr Hayatou questioned the level of professionalism and the allegations as there was no such meeting between Emir of Qatar and President of Cameroon.
To Heide Blakes' allegation that Mr. Bin Hammam arranged for medical treatment for Hayatou at a private clinic after he voted for Qatar 2022, no such arrangement was made and is a pure invention.


The only treatment Mr Hayatou received in Qatar related to a dialysis session in Doha in early January 2011 during the AFC Congress, for which as usual, he was invited.


After that the Sunday Times asked if Mr Hayatou was aware of payments made by Mr Bin Hammam to some presidents of African football federations and if any such payments influenced his vote, Mr Hayatou said he was not aware.
On accusations of being offered luxury accommodation and business class flight tickets and others, Mr Hayatou said the allegation was a lie meant to manipulate public opinion. Mr Hayatou has never accepted any flight tickets or any privileges from Qatar2022.
In January 2011, he was accommodated in Doha for two nights by the AFC during the AFC Congress, a principal applied worldwide during confederations' congress.

Mr Hayatou will not allow journalists once again to attack his integrity and reputation. Such allegations are meant to discredit not only him as a person but the whole continent.

Like in 2011, the CAF president is waiting for the famous evidence from the Sunday Times and reserves the right to take legal action against any of those responsible for the smear campaign against him.

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