South African official denies World Cup bribe

Johannesburg, June 3 (IANS) South African Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula reiterated his stance on Wednesday that the country did not offer bribes for votes during the bidding process of the 2010 football World Cup.

Mbalula said the amount of money was a fully-approved payment by the South African government to support football among the African diaspora in the Caribbean, reports Xinhua.

“The fact that a payment of 10-million-dollar was made to an approved program above board does not equate to bribery,” said Mbalula.

“Those who allege should prove their allegations,” added the minister.

The FIFA corruption scandal broke last week in which it was alleged that former FIFA vice president Jack Warner solicited a $10 million payment from South Africa in order to help winning the hosting rights of the 2010 World Cup.

South African Football Association (SAFA) strongly rebutted that allegation in a statement last Wednesday shortly after the U.S. authorities arrested seven top FIFA officials on charges of corruption.

“These corruption and racketeering charges have got nothing to do with the actual 2010 World Cup. At the moment the details are sketchy, but the charges mainly pertain to the service providers and broadcasting rights,” explained the SAFA statement.


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