D governing body Fifa were last night forced into an embarrassing climb down amid criticism over the appointment of Issa Hayatou to oversee the London 2012 football tournament
Hayatou, the erstwhile president of the Confederation of African Football, appeared yesterday to have been confirmed by Fifa as head of the organising committee for Olympic football competitions – starting with London – at a time when he is under investigation by the International Olympic Committee for alleged corruption.
The Cameroonian, who could yet be banned form the IOC, if found guilty – over BBC allegations made last year that he received irregular payments, has denied any wrongdoing – but in a fresh twist Fifa performed a staggering a U-turn last night with the issuing of a fresh statement.
“Due to a technical error, appointments for Fifa standing committees have appeared on the Fifa website. The appointments for the chairman and deputy chairman of the Fifa standing committees will be communicated in due course,” it said.
“Therefore, Issa Hayatou has not been appointed as chairman of the organising committee for the Olympic football tournaments.”
Hayatou, 65, was also accused, during a Commons select committee inquiry, of being paid to favour eventual winners Qatar in last year’s contentious 2022 World Cup vote.