The FIFA Ethics Committee, on Thursday, banned Nigeria's Amos Adamu and Oceania's Reynald Temarii from voting in the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids on December 2. The ballot will now go ahead with 22 voters deciding between the nine candidate nations.
The provisional suspension comes in the wake of an undercover investigation by the Sunday Times, which accused the pair of asking for cash in return for their votes at the bids. The journalists, who posed as lobbyists reportedly video-taped the conversation last month with both the FIFA executive committee members, forcing FIFA to launch its own investigations.
Adamu and Temarii along with four other officials, Slim Aloulou (Tunisia), Amadou Diakite (Mali), Ahongalu Fusimalohi (Tonga) and Ismael Bhamjee (Botswana) have been suspended from taking part in any football-related activity. The Nigerian member who allegedly agreed to endorse U.S.A's bid for 2018 in return for $800,000, faced a ban of three years. Oceania Football Confederation president, who allegedly requested money for a sports academy, was handed over a year's ban.
The FIFA plenary session at Zurich on Thursday afternoon, took a unanimous decisions over the ban, yet maintained that there has not yet been enough evidence against the members to prove all accusations.
We do not want this to become a public trial, Claudio Sulser, the chairman of the Ethics Committee said. He added that the decisions were on grounds of FIFA's 'zero tolerance policy' and the merits of the case haven't been looked at.
Four European countries, England, Russia, Spain-Portugal and Netherlands-Belgium are bidding to stage the 2018 event, while the United States, Australia, Qatar, Japan and South Korea hope to be home to the 2022 tournament.