you lied sir, fifa to cele

FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke has denied claims by police chief General Bheki Cele that he was "almost in tears" earlier this year from the pressure he was under to withdraw the World Cup from South Africa.

FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke has denied claims by police chief General Bheki Cele that he was "almost in tears" earlier this year from the pressure he was under to withdraw the World Cup from South Africa.

Valcke and local organising committee chief executive Danny Jordan were in Durban on Saturday for a networking breakfast with the media.

Cele told Parliament's portfolio committee on police on Friday that Valcke had raised his concerns about security in South Africa in a meeting with police officials at OR Tambo International Airport on January 27 - shortly after an attack on the Togo team at the Africa Cup of Nations in Angola.

Cele said: "On January 27 we received an SOS call from Fifa.

"We were a bit annoyed that they were calling us like a schoolboy called in by the principal, but understanding the seriousness of the World Cup we complied and met the general secretary at OR Tambo Airport.

"(Valcke) was almost in tears because of the pressure he was under to withdraw the World Cup from South Africa. that was after the incident in Cabinda where there was a shooting at the team from Togo," Cele said.

But on Saturday, Valcke denied the claims.

"I want to put it on record that it has never been the case that Fifa wanted to move the World Cup away from South Africa due to security reasons and it was wrong for Commissioner (General) Cele to say that," Valcke said.

Valcke also warned people against buying tickets on the black market. "We are working with Interpol to fight the black-market sales of tickets and I must warn people that they will be arrested. We are not joking, people will be arrested."

Jordaan said most of the projected profit out of the tournament would be used for development. "The profit will be given to the development of grassroots football."

Repeated attempts yesterday to get Cele to clarify his statements were unsuccessful.

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