Russia’s 2018 World Cup bid team today denied offering any inducements to secure votes.
Andreas Herren, the international communications and media chief of Russia 2018, today made public an approach to the Russians from the Sunday Times seeking a response to an allegation which a journalist from the newspaper claims to have been made by Nigerian Amos Adamu.
Adamu is a member of FIFA’s executive committee, who is currently suspended pending an investigation into bribery allegations. He has denied any wrongdoing.
According to an email from the journalist, Adamu allegedly told an undercover reporter that the Russians had “offered ‘co-operation’ in building facilities and offering training to players”.
The Sunday Times journalist’s letter, sent privately to Russia 2018, added: “The suggestion was that such offers would be made in exchange for his vote.”
Herren responded to the journalist’s approach, stating: “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.
“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 i.e. with due notification of the FIFA secretary general.
“Mr Amos Adamu was indeed visiting Russia on August 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 have not published fresh claims from Adamu regarding Russia, however Herren said that Russia 2018 would regard any suggestion from him that he had been offered anything for his vote “as speculation and unfounded”.
England are competing for the right to host the 2018 tournament with Russia and joint bids from Spain/Portugal and Netherlands/Belgium.
Australia, Qatar, Japan, South Korea and the United States are bidding to host the 2022 World Cup.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter yesterday confirmed the votes to decide who will host both tournaments will take place as scheduled on December 2.
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