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Alleged SA 2010 World Cup bid bribery under investigation

The Fifa corruption inquiry is looking into bribes allegedly paid for SA’s 2010 World Cup bid.

Fifa President Sepp Blatter announces the 2010 World Cup will be organised by South Africa on 15 May 2004 at the Fifa headquarters in Zurich. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The Fifa corruption inquiry is now looking into bribes allegedly paid for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Football governing body Fifa has been plunged into crisis today with the launch of two separate corruption investigations and top execs now facing extradition.

The arrest of Fifa officials follows a lengthy US investigation into racketeering and corruption relating to officials based primarily in the US and the Caribbean.

The Swiss Federal Office of Justice is investigating the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups after allegations of criminal mismanagement and money laundering which has seen several FIFA officials arrested.

In the US, the FBI's investigating possible bribes totalling 150 million US dollars linked to commercial deals dating back to 1991.

Acting US Attorney General Kelly Currie explains.

"Other parts of Fifa are implicated as well, as the attorney general mentioned; the World Cup 2010 selection bribery scheme which is described in the indictment alleges that in connection with a selection of South Africa, to host the 2010 World Cup. There were bribes paid in connection with that scheme."

He says the actions of those responsible are appalling.

"I think the ultimate victim is soccer at large. It's the fans, the organisations and the reason that these people were able to make so much money corruptly goes to the love that people have for the sport."

The Fifa indictment alleges corruption is rampant, systematic and deep rooted both abroad and in the United States.

Fifa spokesperson Walter de Gregorio said Fifa President Sepp Blatter was not under any investigation.

The Fifa presidential election scheduled for Friday will go ahead as planned where Blatter is expected to win a fifth four-year term.

Meanwhile, Jordan's Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, a candidate to succeed Blatter as the head of soccer's governing body, says Fifa needs leadership that can restore the confidence of fans around the world.

Prince Ali of Jordan was speaking after top Fifa officials were arrested in Zurich accused of corruption by US authorities and Switzerland opened a criminal investigation into the awarding of the next two Soccer World Cups.

The US Department of Justice is investigating 9 Fifa officials and five business executives on charges of conspiracy and corruption.

The awarding of the 2010 World Cup to South Africa is also part of the inquiry in a 47-count indictment amounting to over 150 million US dollars.

Fifa spokesperson Walter de Gregorio says Blatter won't be stepping down.

"The stress factor is a little bit higher today than it was yesterday but I mean he's quite relaxed because he knows and he knew it before and it is confirmed once again today that he is not involved."

To read the full statement from the Swiss Attorney General on the matter, click here."

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