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FIFA suspend officials amid allegations of World Cup bid corruption

  • World football's governing body FIFA suspends two of its officials
  • Move comes amid allegations of World Cup bid corruption ahead of 2 December ballot
  • Executive member Amos Adamu of Nigeria is given three-year suspension and fine
  • Executive member Reynald Temarii of Tahiti is given 12-month suspension and fine

(CNN) -- World football's governing body FIFA suspended two of its executive committee members amid allegations of World Cup bid corruption on Thursday.

The organization's ethics committee -- who held a press conference from their headquarters' building in Zurich, Switzerland -- confirmed that Amos Adamu of Nigeria and Reynald Temarii of Tahiti would not be allowed to take part in the December ballot to decide the host of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup following an investigation.

Adamu, 57, who has been a FIFA member since 2006 and is the director of sports development in his homeland, was provisionally suspended for three years as well as being fined $10, 000.

Temarii, 43, a FIFA vice president who is president of the Oceania Football Confederation and adviser to the French Polynesian government, was given a 12-month provisional ban as well as a fine of $5,000.

FIFA suspends officials

The move follows allegations in the British newspaper the Sunday Times, that both executives had solicited bribes in exchange for their support of a candidate bid.

Bribery scandal shows that FIFA must change

In an undercover operation, the newspaper's reporters said they approached six current or former FIFA officials, all of whom "suggested paying huge bribes to FIFA executive committee members." Two of the six asked for direct payment themselves, the paper reported.

FIFA ethics committee chairman Claudio Sulser said: "We will have a zero tolerance policy for all violations of the standards. We are in favor of a healthy football, football as something positive in our lives. We don't want cheaters, we don't want doping, and we don't want any type of abuses to be accepted in terms of respecting the rules. We don't want any type of illicit advantages to take place."

I am innocent of all the charges levelled against me by the ethics committee and I completely refute the decision they have made
--Amos Adamu, suspended FIFA official

The ballot will now go ahead as scheduled on 2 December, without Adamu and Temarii taking part, meaning that 22 voters will now decide between the nine candidate nations.

Timeline of World Cup bidding scandal

There are four candidates, all in Europe, to host the 2018 tournament: England, Russia and a pair of dual bids, one from Spain and Portugal, the other from Belgium and the Netherlands. The United States, Australia, Japan, South Korea and Qatar all hope to be home to the 2022 tournament.

Four other FIFA officials were disciplined by the committee: Slim Aloulou, the chairman of the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber, was banned for two years while Ahongalu Fusimalohi -- the general secretary of the Tonga Football Association -- and Amadou Diakite -- member of the Referees Committee -- were both given a three-year ban.

FIFA finds shortcomings in World Cup bids ahead of vote

Ismael Bhamjee of Botswana -- a honorary member from the Confederation of African Football (CAF) -- was suspended from taking part in football-related activity for four years.

FIFA stated that each member had breached various articles of their code of ethics but stopped short of claiming that any had been found guilty of corruption.

Sulser admitted that the findings had been "greatly" damaging for the Swiss-based organization.

"The damage caused to FIFA as regards its image is very great. It is also good to establish why it's important to tell the truth in newspapers. When one talks of FIFA there is generally a negative attitude out there.

The damage caused to FIFA as regards its image is very great
--FIFA ethics committee chairman Claudio Sulser

"There is talk of corruption. This is rather peculiar its rather curious but on the other hand its not joke because FIFA is a big organization with many interests and where there are many interests certain things can go array the difference now is the following -- now we are trying to work in complete transparency," Sulser added.

Adamu told the Press Association that, despite the findings of the investigation, he intended to appeal the decision.

FIFA must challenge any potential corruption cancer

"I am profoundly disappointed with the ethics committee's findings and had honestly believed I would be exonerated of any charges by now," he said.

"I am innocent of all the charges leveled against me by the ethics committee and I completely refute the decision they have made. As yet I have not been advised of the grounds of the ethics committee's decision but regardless, I will be lodging a full appeal against it with immediate effect."

The body added that no evidence of violation between bid committees, in relation to the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding process, had been found.

Allegations of collusion between the bid teams of Spain-Portugal 2018 and Qatar 2022, an action that is against bidding regulations, had surfaced prior to Thursday's announcement but FIFA found in their favor.