FIFA, Olympic official Sheik Ahmad denies bribery allegation
HAWALLI, Kuwait - Asian Olympic leader Sheik Ahmad of Kuwait denies claims in a U.S. federal court that he bribed FIFA voters.
Sheik Ahmad, a member of FIFA's ruling council, is "very surprised by such allegations and strongly denies any wrongdoing."
The statement was published by the Olympic Council of Asia, which Sheik Ahmad has led since 1991.
FIFA audit committee member Richard Lai, an American citizen from Guam, pleaded guilty on Thursday to wire fraud conspiracy charges related to bribes that helped officials gain influence in international soccer.
Though Sheik Ahmad was not named in Department of Justice and Brooklyn court documents, Lai's hearing transcript quoted him saying "co-conspirator #2 was also the president of Olympic Council of Asia."
The OCA says the sheik "will vigorously defend his integrity and reputation."