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Samoura hits back after being reported to Fifa ethics committee

Samoura hits back after being reported to Fifa ethics committee

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By: SportBusiness International team

25 Apr 2018
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Fatma Samoura, Fifa’s secretary general, has been reported to the ethics committee of football’s global governing body after allegations emerged of alleged breaches relating to “duty of disclosure, co-operation and reporting” and “conflicts of interest”, according to UK public-service broadcaster the BBC.

The allegations centre on Morocco’s efforts to host the 2026 World Cup, with members of Fifa’s evaluation taskforce having reportedly discovered an undeclared family link between Samoura (pictured) and former Senegal national team striker El Hadji Diouf, who is an ambassador of the bid.

A senior Fifa source told BBC Sport that the allegation is “tenuous” while Samoura said she is “fully aware of this upcoming complaint”.

She said she has “a good idea who is conveying this message” and added: “The whole country of Senegal will laugh at Fifa Ethics... because everyone in my country knows the origin of El Hadji Diouf”.

Morocco is up against a joint bid featuring Canada, Mexico and the US and tabled bids to host the 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010 World Cups.

A Fifa spokesperson told BBC Sport: “The bidding process for the 2026 Fifa World Cup has been designed to evaluate the bids against objective criteria and so avoid a return to the secret and subjective decisions of the past. The process is as fair, objective and transparent as it can get as demonstrated with the publication of the bid books, all bidding documents and the scoring system.

“The taskforce's assessment is guided by clear and objective criteria and its report will be made public to guarantee full transparency of the process. The Fifa president is not involved in this process and he will not take part in the vote of the congress. These are facts and not 'maybe' or gossip.

“Fifa has been heavily criticised for how it conducted the selection of hosts in the past. It was our obligation to learn from this and leave no room for any doubt or subjectivity. Anyone criticising this approach should be able to say if they would prefer a return to the old ways.

“Allegations of a defamatory nature are unacceptable, especially when they come in a middle of a bidding process when calm, sense of responsibility and respect should prevail.”

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