BRUSSELS/AMSTERDAM: Belgium and Holland’s 2018 World Cup has become the latest to be put in question over its lobbying strategy writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Almost every World Cup bidding effort for the finals of 2006, 2010, 2018 and 2022 have come into question amid the unravelling of the corrupt practices in operation at the heart of world governing body FIFA.
The latest allegations have been published by the Dutch newspaper Volkskrant and concern the employment by the bid of Amadou Diallo on its behalf to press its case in Africa.
Diallo, originally from Guinea but based for years in Paris, had previously worked for six years with FIFA’s Goal Bureau, the committee long headed by Bin Hammam and which distributed money to worldwide development projects across the world.
The task assigned to Diallo was to monitor the projects and he was paid on a freelance basis from 2001 until 2007 directly out of Bin Hammam’s own budget.
Volkskrant has claimed that Diallo, at one time an associate of now-disgraced Qatari Mohamed bin Hammam, was then paid at least €10,000 by the Belgium/Holland World Cup bid in breach of regulations.
Bin Hammam was suspended by FIFA in 2011 over an election cash-for-votes scandal, and then banned for life over misconduct while president of the Asian Football Confederation.
The newspaper claims to have seen bid documents confirming approval of a payment in 2009 to Diallo who then referred to a bonus-led financial arrangement in an email exchange with Bin Hammam.
Payment to Diallo was routed from Beltomundial, a non-profit-making organisation set up in 2007 as a support vehicle for the Belgium/Holland bid effort.
Inquiries into the allegations have been launched by both the Dutch federation and by the Brussels public prosecutor.