FIFA President (Wordcup)

The Federation of International Football (FIFA) has admitted that it processed a $10 million payment from South Africa to its former Vice President, Jack Warner in the wake of awarding the 2010 World Cup to the African nation but denied involvement of its secretary general Jerome Valcke and other top management in the scheme.

A FIFA statement released on Tuesday declared that neither Valcke “nor any other member of FIFA’s senior management were involved in the initiation, approval and implementation” of the 2007 transfer from South Africa to Warner, then president of the North, Central America and Caribbean Football Confederation.

The clarification came in the wake of ongoing investigation by the US and Swiss authorities into series of corruption and bribery allegations rocking the world’s football governing body, with Jack Warner as one of the 14 people facing corruption charges of involvement in more than $150 million of bribery dealings.

FIFA (Wordcup)

According the statement, FIFA acted as an intermediary between South Africa, which was preparing to host the 2010 World Cup, and the Caribbean countries over the world cup legacy project.

The statement read in parts: “At the request of the South African Government, and in agreement with the South African Football Association (SAFA), FIFA was asked to process the project’s funding by withholding USD 10m from the Local Organising Committee’s (LOC) operational budget and using that to finance the Diaspora Legacy Programme.

“SAFA instructed FIFA that the Diaspora Legacy Programme should be administered and implemented directly by the President of CONCACAF who at that time was Deputy Chairman of the Finance Committee and who should act as the fiduciary of the Diaspora Legacy Programme Fund of USD 10m.

It went further: “The payments totalling USD 10m were authorised by the then chairman of the Finance Committee and executed in accordance with the Organisation Regulations of FIFA. FIFA did not incur any costs as a result of South Africa’s request because the funds belonged to the LOC. Both the LOC and SAFA adhered to the necessary formalities for the budgetary amendment.

The clincher: “Neither the Secretary General Jérôme Valcke nor any other member of FIFA’s senior management were involved in the initiation, approval and implementation of the above project.”

By Olisemeka Obeche


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