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Valcke maintains innocence over #Fifagate

Fifa Secretary General Jerome Valcke says the $10 million payment was above board.

FILE: Fifa Secretary General Jerome Valcke says the $10 million payment was above board. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - Fifa Secretary General Jerome Valcke on Wednesday said there were no grounds to accuse him of wrongdoing over a South African linked $10 million payment that's now under investigation by US authorities.

Valcke addressed the media in Russia a short while ago.

He said he has not been questioned by Swiss prosecutors or police over the payment which US authorities say was a bribe paid to secure the hosting rights for this country's 2010 World Cup.

Valcke has questioned why Fifa should account for the use of the money paid to the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf) by the Local Organising Committee.

"It is Fifa who suddenly asked to explain the misuse of the money based on what you have found and seen on BBC. Why is it not Caribbean Football Union and Concacaf who are their own organisations and who have their own structural committees in place to follow the use of the money which comes in to their accounts."

At the same time, Valcke has announced that the bidding process for the 2026 World Cup has been suspended.

Valcke has once again insisted that the $10 million payment was above board and there was no wrongdoing on Fifa's part.

The payment is now the subject of a US investigation.

It has since emerged that the South African Football Association (Safa) and the South African government had requested that the sum be diverted to the Caribbean in a development project which now disgraced former Fifa boss Jack Warner had sorely administered.

Valcke also announced that in light of the investigation into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups that the bidding process for 2026 with the decision initially scheduled for May 2017 be delayed.