Now SAFA says that '$10 million' should be theirs
The South African Football Association (Safa) are making an audacious claim to the government for a refund of the disputed US$10-million payment that was made to the Caribbean during the 2010 World Cup bid process.
Safa spokesman Dominic Chimhavi said this week a delegation from the association had already met with the Sports Ministry and received a positive response to their overtures.
“The minister [Sports Minister Thulas Nxesi] said he is going to consult Minister [in the Presidency] Jeff Radebe who was one of the board members of the World Cup local organising committee and is among those with intimate details of the payment‚” Chimhavi told TimesLIVE.
The government were asked to verify this and comment but queries sent to both the Nxesi and sport ministry director-general Alec Moemi have not yet elicited a response.
Safa are arguing that the payment‚ which was made by Fifa from funds intended for South Africa’s hosting of the World Cup‚ on the instruction of the South African government‚ did not go to the Caribbean football legacy projects it was intended to.
Instead it was pocketed by Trinidad and Tobago-based Jack Warner‚ who was the head of the Confederation of North and Central American and Caribbean Football Associations (Concacaf) at the time. At today’s exchange rate it is worth some R135-million.
Details of the claim were declared in a statement detailing the outcome of Safa’s general meeting held in Johannesburg at the weekend.
Then-Safa president Molefi Oliphant wrote to Fifa in March 2008 asking that Fifa make the payment following a South African government decision to support Warner’s alleged projects. The plan had been approved by the World Cup LOC of which current Safa president Danny Jordaan was an integral part.
South Africa vehemently denied allegations that the payment it was a bribe when details first emerged two years ago.
“That money was lost to South African football and we feel that it should be paid back to us‚” added Chimhavi.
Safa revealed earlier this week that it has spent R10 million assisting Fifa in an investigation into the payment that was wired to the Caribbean.
Safa CEO Dennis Mumble told TimesLIVE that he wrote a letter to Fifa last year offering assistance and the world football governing happily accepted the help.
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