FIFA Official Expects Vindication In Vote-Selling Probe

The Tahitian, also president of the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC), was accused by British newspaper The Sunday Times of asking an undercover reporter for NZ$3 million to fund a sports academy at the OFC headquarters in return for his votes.

“I have no intention of resigning and have asked for a personal hearing in front of the Ethics Committee,” Temarii told the sports website in Zurich on Tuesday.

“That’s why I have stayed on. I am 100 percent convinced of my integrity.”

Temarii and fellow executive committee member Amos Adamu, who was accused by the same paper of asking for $799,600 for a personal project in return for his votes, face suspension or even expulsion from the group if they are found guilty.

FIFA has not said how long the investigation, headed by former Switzerland international Claudio Sulser, will takebut they have called a media conference for 1600 GMT on Wednesday.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter took the unusual step of writing an open letter to executive committee members on Sunday asking for them to remain silent on the subject which he said “had created a very negative impact” on the world governing body.

However, Temarii remains confident he will be cleared.

“I have certain elements which I believe will prove my innocence. I will prove I am an honest man. The Ethics Committee will tell me if I am right or wrong,” he added. 

“I am not shocked by these revelations because I know what I did.And I know what I have to do. You have only heard 15 seconds of the interview. Maybe you should hear the full 45 minutes. Then you will understand everything.”

The hosts for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups will be decided in Zurich on December 2 by the 24 members of FIFA’s executive committee.

Russia and England are facing joint bids from Spain/Portugal and Netherlands/Belgium in the race for the 2018 edition with the United States, Japan, South Korea, Qatar and Australia are competing for 2022. Reuters