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Mbalula calls on Fifa to retract 2010 World Cup bribe claims

Fifa announced yesterday that $10 million had been paid to host the tournament.

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula fields questions about Fifa at Parliament. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.
FIFA,Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula,2010 FIFA World Cup
Local Sport

JOHANNESBURG - Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula has called on Fifa to retract its statement that South Africa was involved in bribery to host the 2010 World Cup.

Fifa announced yesterday that $10 million had been paid to host the tournament.

Mbalula says the investigation is full of contradictions and has inflicted major harm to South Africa’s reputation.

“South Africa refuses to drown itself in the blame-victim mentality game. The FBI indictment and Fifa orchestrated investigations are littered with explosive contradictions.”

Mbalula: I don't dance to the Guptas chorus

He says Fifa is responsible for its own decisions.

“It is utterly unique in world history where an organisation turns on itself to disown the decision taken by its own governance structures.” 

Mbalula says they want to examine the full Fifa report.

“Now that the investigations have been finalised, the South African government is requesting Fifa to furnish us with the report, in order to decide on the course of action to be taken.”

And he had scathing words for Fifa.

“I’m disappointed that our African humanism has been reproached with inhumanity. As the ministry, we take affront this unhelpful way of conducting business. We are not asking for favours or patronage, we are here for accountability, transparency, democracy and respect of our sovereignty.”

He was then asked whether the Gupta brothers had given him his job.

“We are not governed by the Guptas, we are not run by the Guptas, we are not here for the Guptas [but] we are here for sports.”

#FIFABribe Mbalula: South Africa hosted the most successful World Cup in history.

Last year, Mbalula made the same statement saying South Africa did not pay a bribe with regards to the 2010 World Cup.

WATCH: Fikile Mbalula: Our hands are clean

Yesterday, Fifa said that the $10 million that was diverted to a development fund in the Caribbean at the behest of the South African Football Association (Safa) did constitute a bribe.

In a 22-page submission to the US Department of Justice, Fifa are now looking at recovering over $100 million. 

In Fifa’s submission under the heading ‘Defendants, Warner and Blazer’s $10 Million 2010 Fifa World CupTM Vote Scheme’, they say that it’s apparent that a number of officials abused their positions and that Jack Warner and Chuck Blazer engineered a scheme for a $10 million pay-off in exchange for votes for the tournament.

They say that came about after a long established relationship harking back to their backing of the country in the 2006 vote.

They say that Warner’s son, Daryan, had benefitted by organising a series of friendly matches against CONCACAF nations played in South Africa as well but that also traveling to a hotel in Paris to receive a briefcase with $10,000 in cash from a high-ranking South African bid committee official and immediately returned to Trinidad and Tobago to give it to Defendant Warner.

Crucially, they said that Warner and his co-conspirators lied to Fifa about the nature of the payment, disguising it as support for the benefit of the “African Diaspora” in the Caribbean region, when in reality it was a bribe.

Click here for the US Department of Justice's document.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)

 

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