Ex-Somali FIFA official was first whistleblower to expose FIFA scandal

FIFA President Sepp Blatter resigned from his position on June 2, 2015, amid corruption scandal. [Photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images]

FIFA President Sepp Blatter resigned his position on June 2, 2015, amid corruption scandal. [Photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images]

A former senior Somali FIFA official, who died in 2008, was one of the first whistleblowers to go public in 2002 about the alleged corruption in FIFA after he accused Sepp Blatter of bribery in his first election bid in 1998.

Blatter, who was re-elected last week for a fifth term as president of FIFA, resigned his position on Tuesday amid corruption scandal. The New York Times reported that Blatter is the focus of a U.S. federal corruption investigation as part of corruption probe targeting FIFA officials.

Farah Weheliye Addo, former president of the Somali Football Association and former vice president of the Confederation of African Football, alleged in 2002 that he was offered $100,000 to back Blatter’s first bid to become FIFA president in 1998.

farah-addo-fifa

Farah Weheliye Addo, former president of the Somali Football Association and former vice president of the African Football Confederation, died in 2008.

Farah said he had been offered the money by Blatter’s supporters to switch votes in the FIFA presidential elections.

Farah turned down the offer and alleged: “Eighteen African voters accepted bribes to vote for Blatter,” according to reports.

After the allegations, Blatter tried to silence Farah. Blatter allegedly paid FIFA referee Lucien Bouchardeau of Niger $25,000 and promised him $25,000 more in return for information on Farah.

Blatter didn’t deny the payments to Bouchardeau. He said at the time that he paid the money out of goodness to help Bouchardeau.

“Because of Addo, Bouchardeau has been left out in the cold in Africa. He said to me with tears in his eyes that he was a poor devil and had nothing left. So I gave him $25,000 of my own money,” Blatter said. “I’m too good a person.”

Farah was a renowned international referee who handled some of the World Cup qualifiers in 1973.

He died in Egypt in 2008 at the age of 73 and was buried in Mogadishu.

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