A high-ranking Fifa and International Olympic Committee official has denied claims linking him to a fraud case.
Following the release of court documents, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah has been linked in media reports to Richard Lai, the Fifa audit and compliance committee member who was banned for bribery.
Lai admitted taking $950,000 (£735,000) in bribes in a US Court on Thursday.
Kuwaiti Sheikh Ahmad, 53, said he was “very surprised” by the allegations.
Sheikh Ahmad is a member of both Fifa’s ruling council and president of the Olympic Council of Asia.
Court documents in Lai’s case did not not directly name Sheikh Ahmad but referred to someone who “at various times” was a “high-ranking official of Fifa, the Kuwait Football Association (KFA), and the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA)”.
A statement on behalf of Sheikh Ahmad read: “Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah is aware of the media speculations concerning alleged payments made to Richard Lai, who is being investigated by US authorities for tax and other alleged violations.
“Sheikh Ahmad is very surprised by such allegations and strongly denies any wrongdoing. He will vigorously defend his integrity and reputation and that of any organisation that he represents in any relevant legal review.”
Lai, president of the Guam Football Association and a US citizen, admitted two counts of wire fraud conspiracy – relating to accepting and paying bribes – and one count of failing to disclose foreign bank accounts.
He agreed to pay more than $1.1m (£850,000) in forfeiture and penalties.