FIFA Says South Africa Paid $10M Bribe To Host 2010 World Cup
By Abiodun Oluwarotimi with agency reports
FIFA has admitted that South Africa indeed paid a bribe of $10m to host the 2010 World Cup.
According to reports, the world footballing body filed the legal papers in New York in a bid to claim back some money swindled by its officials.
Ex-officials who have pleaded guilty have already agreed to pay more than $190 million in forfeiture, according to US authorities.
A FIFA audit read: “The defendants grossly abused their positions of trust to enrich themselves, have deeply tarnished the FIFA brand and impaired FIFA’s ability to use its resources for positive actions throughout the world.
“These funds should be used to compensate the victims of the defendants’ crimes, particularly FIFA and its member associations and confederations.”
In all, 42 sports officials, executives and corporate entities have been charged in the United States under the US bribery and money laundering laws.
The defendants include former members of FIFA’s all-powerful executive committee and former heads of national and continental governing bodies.
In a statement, new FIFA president Gianni Infantino said: “The defendants diverted this money not just from FIFA but from players, coaches and fans worldwide who benefit from the programmes that FIFA runs to develop and promote football.
” These dollars were to build football fields, not mansions and pools; to buy football kits, not jewellery and cars; and to fund youth player and coach development, not to underwrite lavish lifestyles for football and sports marketing executives.
” When FIFA recovers this money, it will be directed back to its original purpose, for the benefit and development of international football.
“The convicted defendants abused the positions of trust they held at FIFA and other international football organisations and caused serious and lasting damage to FIFA, its member associations and the football community.
“The monies they pocketed belonged to global football and were meant for the development and promotion of the game.
“FIFA, as the world governing body of football, wants that money back and we are determined to get it no matter how long it takes.”