Thursday 21 November 2019

FIFA scandal - South Africa paid €9m in bribes to host 2010 World Cup, says US Attorney General

Spain were crowned world champions in South Africa in 2010.
Spain were crowned world champions in South Africa in 2010.

Martyn Ziegler

South Africa paid more than €9m in bribes to secure the 2010 World Cup - and the cash was transferred via a FIFA account, according to the US attorney general's full indictment against 14 FIFA officials.

The money was allegedly paid to former FIFA members Jack Warner and Chuck Blazer. A separate cash payment in $10,000 stacks was collected from a hotel room in Paris from a high-ranking South African bid committee official.

The indictment claims Warner was offered 1million dollars by South Africa's rival bid, Morocco, but Blazer "learned from Jack Warner that high-ranking officials of FIFA, the South African government, and the South African bid committee, were prepared to arrange for the government of South Africa to pay $10m to 'support the African diaspora'.

Blazer "understood the offer to be in exchange for World Cup votes" but later "learned that the South Africans were unable to arrange for the payment to be made directly from government funds". Blazer was to personally benefit to the tune of 1million dollars.

The indictment adds: "Arrangements were thereafter made with FIFA officials to instead have the 10million dollars sent from FIFA - using funds that would otherwise have gone from FIFA to South Africa to support the World Cup - to CFU [Caribbean Football Union].

"In fact, on January 2, 2008, January 31, 2008 and March 7, 2008, a high-ranking FIFA official caused payments...totalling 10million - to be wired from a FIFA account in Switzerland to a Bank of America correspondent account in New York... controlled by Jack Warner."

Blazer was paid $750,000 dollars by Warner but never received the full amount of the $1m he had been promised.

Blazer has pleaded guilty to 10 criminal charges, while Warner has denied any wrongdoing.

PA Media

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