South Africa Denies $10 Million Bribe To FIFA
Jack Warner, former vice-president of . (Photo: AP)

Fikile Mbalula, the South African sports minister, has denied his country bribed FIFA officials in order to secure votes for the 2010 World Cup.

The erupted last week when US prosecutors indicted 14 people.

In 2007, as part of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the South African Government approved a $10 million project to support the African diaspora in Caribbean countries as part of the World Cup legacy.

Mr Blatter had campaigned for an African World Cup four years earlier, chastising Fifa’s executive committee for not having vision when they awarded the competition to Germany, which held the tournament in 2006.

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A ‘red notice’ has been issued for Jack Warner at the request of US authorities, Warner was then president of Concacaf and the US indictment alleges that the $10m payment made through Fifa channels resulted in three members of the organisation’s executive committee voting in favour of the World Cup being awarded to South Africa.

Interpol said it issued so-called red notices – not an international arrest warrant – for Mr Warner, former president of CONCACAF which governs football in North and Central America and the Caribbean, and Nicolas Leoz, the former head of South America’s soccer federation.

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“We categorically deny our country and government bribed anyone to receive the right to host the 2010 World Cup. It was an approved programme and we can’t understand why this is now interpreted as a bribe,” Mbalula told a packed news conference.

Sports ministry director general Alec Moemi, who was also present at the news conference, said: “We gave the money unconditionally. Jack Warner was the leader of CONCACAF and the Caribbean Football Union, and a man of good standing.”

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