The man alleged to have been the fixer for Qatar 2022’s World Cup bid worked for FIFA for more than six years, it has been revealed.
Amadou Diallo, based in Paris but originally from the west African country of Guinea, was alleged in Parliament this week to have been the go-between when bribes were paid by Qatar to African FIFA members.
Diallo is a close friend of Mohamed Bin Hammam, the Qatari president of the Asian Football Confederation who is standing against Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency.
FIFA today confirmed that Diallo worked on the organisation’s Goal Bureau, the committee headed by Bin Hammam which distributes money to football development projects across the world.
Diallo’s task was to monitor the projects and he was paid on a freelance basis from 2001 until 2007 directly from the Goal Bureau chairman Bin Hammam’s budget.
The payments did go through the FIFA administration however.
A FIFA statement said: “We can confirm that Amadou Diallo was working until April 2007 paid by FIFA on a Goal Bureau chairman budget with the task of monitoring Goal projects.”
FIFA insiders said they were “not thrilled” to learn from their files of the connection. The budget in question appears to no longer exist – certainly no money has been paid out of it this year – but there is no suggestion of any impropriety concerning the FIFA payments to Diallo.
According to a submission to Parliament by the Sunday Times, Diallo was named by ex-FIFA general secretary Michel Zen-Ruffinen as being at the centre of arranging financial deals with African FIFA executive members in return for World Cup votes.
The submission says Diallo “had been employed by the Qatar bid” and also worked for Issa Hayatou, the president of the African football confederation (CAF), who along with Jacques Anouma of the Ivory Coast was alleged to have been paid $1.5m (€1m) to vote for Qatar. They deny the claims.
Bin Hammam confirmed this week that Diallo was a good friend but insisted neither he nor Qatar had done anything wrong, nor had Diallo worked for Qatar.
Bin Hammam said: “He’s a close friend of mine and if you know the role he plays you will laugh at these allegations. He’s simply a friend of mine and he has nothing to do with Qatar or anyone.
“I will meet up with him from time to time and he will travel with me here and there, but he is not playing any part in the decisions I take.”
According to sources, Diallo and Bin Hammam regularly travel together and were at the CAF Congress in Khartoum in February when Mohamed Raouraoua of Algeria topped the election for the FIFA executive and Anouma also kept his seat.