FIFA: South Africa didn’t bribe for World Cup
World Football governing body FIFA, on Wednesday denied it made allegations that South Africa secured the right to be host for the 2010 World Cup through bribery.
A widespread corruption scandal continues to engulf soccer’s world governing body, with former president Sepp Blatter and vice president Michel Platini suspended and a number of former executives indicted in an ongoing investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.
On Tuesday, FIFA began legal proceedings in an attempt to recoup the millions of dollars pocketed by 41 corrupt officials and organizations by submitting a Request for Restitution to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York and the U.S. Probation Office.
The 22-page document includes allegations of how former officials Chuck Blazer, Jack Warner and Jeffrey Webb were involved in engineering a $10 million payoff in exchange for FIFA Executive Committee votes for South Africa to be the 2010 World Cup host.
FIFA clarified that the allegations form part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s indictments and are not being made by the governing body itself.
“FIFA’s Request for Restitution is based on the allegations contained in the two indictments issued by the U.S. Department of Justice against 41 defendants. In its submission, FIFA is restating these allegations as the principal basis for its restitution request,” a statement read.
“Eleven defendants have pleaded guilty to the charged offenses and admitted their crimes. FIFA intends to seek restitution from these defendants for their misconduct, as well as any other defendants who are convicted.
“The U.S. indictments do not allege that South Africa ‘bought’ the World Cup with bribes. Nor does FIFA. The U.S. indictments, which FIFA is relying upon in its restitution request, merely accuses certain individuals of criminal behavior.”