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Adamu 'desperate' to clear name

Nigeria's Amos Adamu
Amos Adamu says he's prepared for a long fight in the battle to clear his name

Nigerian official Amos Adamu says he is more desperate to clear his name than to re-enter the top echelons of Fifa.

Last week, world football's governing body rejected Adamu's appeal against his three-year ban for breaching Fifa's Code of Ethics.

The 58-year-old confirmed on Monday that he will take his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne.

"I'm desperate to prove my innocence on these corruption charges," Adamu told BBC Sport.

"I am not desperate to be in either Fifa or the Confederation of African Football (Caf)."

The former Executive Committee member was suspended by Fifa in November after claims he had asked for money in exchange for his 2018 and 2022 World Cup votes.

The Appeals Committee's announcement on Friday upheld the ban, prompting Adamu to hint that football politics lie behind the decision.

"I can't say much at the moment [for legal reasons] but I can say there is more to it than meets the eye," the Nigerian told BBC Sport.

Furthermore, Adamu claims his quotes were taken out of context by the Sunday Times, the British newspaper that conducted the investigation.

"They edited it to make it look as though I said send money to me directly," the Nigerian explained.

One of the key points of the Sunday Times' reports surrounded the claim that Adamu had asked for US$800,000 to be directed into his bank account to pay for four pitches in Nigeria.

However, Adamu says he later expressed a preference for the undercover reporters, posing as lobbyists for the United States bid, to ship grass for the pitches to Nigeria themselves - rather than transfer money to any account.

"What was pushed out to the public was heavily edited," ," says the head of the West African Football Union (Wafu).

"Of course they wanted to give me money. I said 'no, if you want to invest in pitches in Nigeria, you buy them and send them to Nigeria yourself'. They cannot put grass into my bank account.

"I'm certainly not a corrupt football administrator.

"Just look at my work with Wafu. Up till now, I still pay the salary of the workers there myself without receiving any money in return."

Adamu, who maintains his innocence, is still unclear why Fifa's Appeals Committee rejected his attempt at overturning his ban last week.

The decision means the Caf vice-president cannot re-contest his position on the Executive Committees for both Fifa and Caf when the latter holds its General Assembly on 23 February.

With his administrative career on the ropes, the Nigerian is concentrating his efforts on clearing his name.

"This is a hard time and a long process but the end will justify the means.

"Sometimes it takes a long time for the truth to come out. When the truth comes out, people will know I meant well for football."

Meanwhile, the Sunday Times has told the BBC that they stand by the story they wrote and feel vindicated by both Fifa and its Appeals Committee.

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see also
Fifa upholds suspended duo's bans
07 Feb 11 |  African
Fifa pair seek to overturn bans
21 Jan 11 |  Football
Adamu to re-contest Fifa position
12 Jan 11 |  African
Fifa official resigns in protest
10 Jan 11 |  Football
Fifa plans anti-corruption team
02 Jan 11 |  Football
England miss out in 2018 Cup vote
02 Dec 10 |  Football
Fifa 'corruption' pair given bans
18 Nov 10 |  Football

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