Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Sports

VP of FIFA denies bribe allegations

FIFA vice president and African soccer head Issa Hayatou denied allegations in a British newspaper that he received free private medical treatment and other favors for backing Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup in a vote already marred by accusations of corruption and under investigation.

In a statement Sunday, the Confederation of African Football called the string of allegations against its longtime president and one of FIFA's senior officials "fanciful" and "ridiculous."

The Sunday Times newspaper said that banned former Qatari official Mohamed bin Hammam, once a FIFA vice president himself, had targeted Hayatou and other African leaders with cash, luxury trips and other gifts and favors to support Qatar's ultimately successful World Cup bid.

In FIFA's votes four years ago, Russia won the hosting rights for the 2018 World Cup and Qatar the 2022 tournament.

"Despite the ridiculous allegations, the CAF president has decided to answer to those accusations," the statement said.

And FIFA's top two officials, president Sepp Blatter and general secretary Jerome Valcke, remained silent over questions about the integrity of Qatar's winning bid.

Falcao out: Monaco striker Radamel Falcao was been left off Colombia's squad for the World Cup after failing to recover from a knee injury, coach Jose Pekerman said. Falcao scored nine goals in last year's South American qualifying matches.

Doctor says Suarez okay: Uruguay's team doctor says striker Luis Suarez is recovering well from knee surgery and will be able to play in the team's World Cup opener June 14 against Costa Rica. Suarez had keyhole surgery on his left knee late month but Dr. Alberto Pan said the Liverpool forward is already practicing twice a day with the rest of the team and running without pain.

Rossi out: Giuseppe Rossi dismissed speculation Monday that he was omitted from Italy's World Cup squad because of concerns about his fitness. Rossi, born and raised in the United States, only recently returned from a four-month layoff following his latest right knee injury but was included in the provisional 30-man squad.

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