Mbalula: We paid $10 million, but it wasn’t World Cup bribe

From African News Agency

Fikile Mbalula
Picture: Twitter

Johannesburg (DPA) – South African Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula has again denied that the country paid a bribe to be able to host the 2010 World Cup, Eyewitness News reported Monday.

Mbalula told the news website that $10 million  was paid to the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) as part of a procedural process that was not taxpayers’ money or a bribe.

South African Football Association (SAFA) president Danny Jordaan had said

the weekend that 10 million dollars was paid to Central and North American soccer body CONCACAF in 2008 as South Africa’s contribution towards their football development fund.

Reports have said the money was paid by football world governing body FIFA to CONCACAF on behalf of South Africa.

Both the CFU and CONCACAF were then headed by Jack Warner, a former FIFA vice-president, who is facing extradition to the United States after his arrest on corruption charges.

Mbalula has denied evidence produced by a US probe that South Africa was involved in bribery.

“We frown at any insinuation by the Americans that seeks to depict our government as corrupt, as a government of people who have actually bribed their way through to win the 2010 World Cup bid,” Eyewitness News quoted him as saying.

The minister accused the United States of a mudslinging campaign and of engaging in “desperate propaganda that they are pursuing in their endeavours to fight their battles with FIFA.”

Mbalula has previously said that South Africa “did everything by the book.”