Paris: Top African FIFA officials Issa Hayatou from Cameroon and Jacques Anouma from the Ivory Coast on Thursday denied accusations of corruption levelled against them before a British Parliamentary Committee concerning the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
Hayatou, president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), and Ivorian federation president Anouma, issued their denials in a statement through the CAF.
"President Hayatou qualifies these accusations, levelled without proof, as pure invention, to once again try to discredit him personally," the CAF statement read.
"Mr Jacques Anouma expresses his deep astonishment faced with these serious allegations of corruption made before the British Parliament. He firmly refutes these allegations which are as ignorant as they are false," the statement said.
The former head of England's 2018 World Cup bid this week accused senior FIFA officials including Hayatou and Amouma of demanding cash and honours in return for votes in the bid for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosts.
British lawmaker Damian Collins said evidence had been received that FIFA vice-president Hayatou and Anouma had received bribes of 1.5 million dollars to vote for Qatar's 2022 bid.
CAF acknowledged however that a payment had been received from Qatar who won the bid for the 2022 World Cup to present their bid.
CAF explained "that within the framework of the campaign of bid countries to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, the Bid Committee for Qatar 2022 formulated an offer to sponsor the CAF Assembly General for the sum of 1.8 million dollars.
"In return, those responsible for the Qatar dossier obtained the exclusivity to address the Assembly General and to present their bid."
"This operation was approved by the Executive committee during its meeting on January 8, 2010 at Luanda, Angola, and put into effect by the signing of a contract between the two parties," the CAF statement added.