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Fifa: $10m payment approved by SA govt

But Fifa has denied any involvement by its secretary general Jerome Valcke.

The global football's governing body Fifa's headquarters in Zurich. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Football governing body Fifa has this morning admitted that a US$10 million transfer was approved by the South African government to support the African Diaspora in Caribbean countries as part of the World Cup legacy.

But Fifa has denied any involvement by its secretary general Jerome Valcke.

The South African government has also dismissed reports that the money was used as a bribe to secure the rights to hold the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

The Fifa statement says that in 2007, as part of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, the South African government approved a US$10 million project to support the African diaspora in Caribbean countries as part of the World Cup legacy. .

At the request of the South African government, and in agreement with Safa, Fifa was asked to process the projects funding by withholding US$10 million from the local organising committees (LOC) operational budget and using that to finance the Diaspora Legacy Programme.

Safa instructed Fifa that the Diaspora Legacy Programme should be administered and implemented directly by the president of CONCACAF, who at that time was deputy chairman of the finance committee and who should act as the fiduciary of the Diaspora Legacy Programme Fund of US$10 million.

According to Fifa, the payments totalling US$10 million were authorised by the then chairman of the finance committee and executed in accordance with the organisation regulations of Fifa.

Fifa did not incur any costs as a result of South Africas request because the funds belonged to the LOC. Both the LOC and Safa adhered to the necessary formalities for the budgetary amendment.

Neither the secretary general Jrme Valcke nor any other member of Fifas senior management were involved in the initiation, approval and implementation of the above project.