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City of Banjul
Saturday, September 26, 2020

KINTEH DENIES QATARI BRIBE

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According to The Sunday Times, among the heads of African football associations Mr Hammam gave money to was Seedy Kinteh, the former president of the then Gambia Football Association.

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The article which was picked up by news agencies and news organisations all over the world, stated: “When Bin Hammam turned up at Fifa’s annual congress at Nassau in the Bahamas in June 2009, he was ready to step up his campaign to cement the loyalty of his African brothers. The email shows he met a string of CAF delegates in private to discuss their financial needs.

“After the congress, Seedy Kinteh the president of Gambia Football Association, emailed Bin Hammam: ‘I really need your brotherly help again as per discussed in Bahamas and I hereby provide you with the full bank details that you can use for any transfer.’

“Just in 10 days later another email dropped into Bin Hammam’s inbox from Kinteh stating, ‘Many thanks indeed for your recent mail disclosing to me the transfer of £10,000… I must first of all express my profound gratitude to you for this very wonderful brotherly gesture that you have once again demonstrated.’

“Kinteh said he was sure the money would go a long way to develop the skill of Gambian players – although the payment had gone into his own bank account. He signed off, ‘I have every reason to be grateful and indeed my president and brother I AM!!!'”

The Sunday Times alleged that Mr Hammam gave at least US$60,000 to Mr Kinteh.

The London paper said it contacted Mr Kinteh for a response before the publication but “he had nothing to say”.

According to the newspaper, Bin Hammam used 10 slush funds controlled by his private company and cash handouts to make dozens of payments of up to $200,000 into accounts controlled by the presidents of 30 African football associations who influenced how the continent’s four executive members would vote. He also allegedly hosted lavish junkets for these African officials at which he handed out almost $400,000 in cash. 

The Sunday Times also said Bin Hammam paid $800,000 to the Ivory Coast FA, whose executive committee member Jacques Anouma agreed to “push very hard the bid of Qatar,” and signed off on two payments of $400,000 each to the federations of two other voters. 

 

Reaction

Following these revelations The Standard yesterday contacted Seedy Kinteh and he began by explaining that “the whole thing” was a smear campaign by the English press to destroy the Qatar World Cup bid which Bin Hamman successfully saw through. “Everything is being done to discredit the man so that opinion can be swayed against holding the 2022 World Cup in Qatar,” he said.

Kinteh clarified that his relations with Bin Hamman began when the Qatari was chairman of the Fifa Goal Project which funded the Football House building in Kanifing, the artificial turf at Brikama Mini Stadium and the Technical Training Centre in Yundum. 

“The successful and transparent completion of those projects has given the GFA great respect in Fifa and   personally cemented my relations with him to friendship and brotherliness, up to a point that Bin Hamman often provided personal financial assistance to myself whenever he wished or I needed it. In fact, that gesture continues even now. The last time he extended personal private financial assistance to me was a few weeks ago in April,” Kinteh revealed. 

According to him, in 2011, again in furtherance of this relationship, Bin Hamman came to attend the Wafu congress in The Gambia.  “In fact because of our special relations, we decided to name one of the four buildings at the technical centre after Bin Hamman,” Kinteh explained.

He also explained that in their machinations to discredit Bin Hamman and the Qatari bid, the English journalists hacked into Bin Hamman’s email, accessed his private messages to his friends and exposed and paraded them as bribes.  “I was never in the position to influence any World Cup bid because only Fifa executive members vote in deciding World Cup hosts. This is my position on this matter,” he concluded.

Qatar defeated bids from the United States, Japan, South Korea and Australia to win the right to host the World Cup in eight years.

 

By Lamin Cham

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