South Africa ‘admits $10m football payout’
Danny Jordaan, head of South Africa’s FA, is quoted as confirming that the amount was deducted from a Fifa payment to the country in 2008.
A subsequent letter requested that money to be sent, instead, to the Caribbean Football Union, reports say.
South African officials deny it was a bribe to secure the 2010 World Cup.
But US prosecutors insist South Africa made an illegal payment after the government promised $10m to Mr Warner – then a Fifa vice-president – in exchange for the “Rainbow Nation” becoming the first African country to host the World Cup.
Fifa chose South Africa as host ahead of Morocco.
Danny Jordaan could not be reached for comment on Sunday, but he is quoted as insisting the money was paid to the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) in 2008 as South Africa’s contribution towards their football development fund.
Unnamed officials have confirmed that the payment was made to support football development among members of the African diaspora – something which does make sense in the political context of the time.
The latest reports come with Fifa – the governing body of world football – in crisis. Senior Fifa officials face a string of bribery charges.
Its head, Sepp Blatter has not been implicated but has faced calls to stand down. He was re-elected as Fifa president on Friday.
Meantime, Warner is facing extradition to the US after his arrest on corruption charges. But the man alleged to be at the heart of global football’s biggest scandal remains defiant.
Hours after his release on bail from a Trinidad jail cell, the former Fifa executive-turned-politician, stood under a gazebo addressing a rally of around 200 supporters from his Independent Liberal Party.
Dressed in a lime green party uniform and wearing a cap, Warner spoke about his short time behind bars.
“Nelson Mandela made jail. Gandhi made jail. Castro made jail. So who’s Jack Warner?”
Warner who is facing multiple charges relating to corruption and money laundering during his three-decade tenure at Fifa also insisted: “I, Jack Warner, know nothing about these charges”.
The US charges against Jack Warner
- Racketeering conspiracy (Count 1)
- Wire fraud conspiracy – CFU World Cup Qualifiers Scheme #1 (Count 9)
- Wire fraud – CFU World Cup Qualifiers Scheme #1 (Count 10)
- Wire fraud – CFU World Cup Qualifiers Scheme #1 (Count 11)
- Money laundering conspiracy – CFU World Cup Qualifiers Scheme #1 (Count 12)
- Money laundering – CFU World Cup Qualifiers Scheme #1 (Count 13)
- Wire fraud conspiracy – 2011 Fifa Presidential Election Scheme (Count 23)
- Money laundering conspiracy – 2011 Fifa Presidential Election Scheme (Count 24)
However, Warner who continues to enjoy the confidence of his supporters, believes discrimination against developing nations is at play, and questions why newly re-elected Fifa President Sepp Blatter, wasn’t included on the charge sheet.
“If I’m corrupt that means he’s corrupt. Why are they only charging third world countries? If what they say is true why haven’t they [charged him]?”
“He’s universally disliked and discredited, and yet they haven’t touched him. Why?”
Warner who resigned from Fifa’s executive committee in 2011, amid allegations he had bribed Caribbean associates said at the time he had been “hung out to dry”, insisting that the giving of gifts had been part of Fifa culture during his 30 years in the organisation.
“A bribe is when you give something and expect something in return,” he explained to me. “A gift is when you give something from the kindness of your heart or benevolence.”
Just 24 hours earlier Jack Warner spent the night in jail, while he waited to post bail. On Thursday, as he remained behind bars, some of his most fervent supporters gathered outside – some going as far as calling for the US embassy to be shut down over Warner’s arrest. (BBC)