Mbalula comes to Jordaan’s defence

Mbalula dismissed claims Jordaan intentionally missed Fifa presidential elections for fear of being arrested.

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula fields questions about Fifa at Parliament. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula has defended South African Football Association (Safa) president Danny Jordaan and his decision not to travel to Switzerland to attend Fifa's presidential elections.

Jordaan has been noticeably absent in football circles recently, citing a heavy workload at the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro where he also serves as mayor.

Mbalula held a briefing today, in response to Fifa's assertion that a $10 million bribe was paid to secure the rights to host the 2010 Fifa world cup.

WATCH: We didn't bribe anyone.

The minister dismissed claims that Jordaan, who played a huge role in bringing the World Cup to the country six years ago, intentionally missed the Fifa presidential elections for fear of being arrested.

"I'm not a spokesperson for Danny Jordaan but what he would have said to you is fact, in terms of his commitments of not going. I'm aware that Danny Jordaan has been travelling all over the world, including attending his obligations so if he were to be arrested, he would have been arrested anywhere because there is Interpol."


Earlier, Mbalula said the Fifa investigation was full of contradictions and said it 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."

He said Fifa was 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 added that they wanted 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."

At the same time, Mbalula says Safa and the government will not shy away from international authorities.

He insists the Diaspora Legacy Programme in the Caribbean, where according to him the $10 million went, was an above board Fifa-approved development project.

Mbalula says transparency is vital in resolving the issues at hand.

"If there are any irregularities that we are not aware of, we are prepared to collaborate with the American law enforcement agency to fight corruption and clean off Fifa."