Fifa corruption probe: We did pay $10m to Jack Warner body, South Africa says

Hosts of 2010 World Cup say they paid money to Caribbean football fund - but deny allegations that it was a bribe

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The Independent Online

A payment of $10m was made by South Africa to a body led by the allegedly corrupt former Fifa official Jack Warner, the country's football association has confirmed.

The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf) was paid the money by the hosts of the 2010 World Cup two years before the tournament, according to Danny Jordaan, the newly elected head of the South African FA.

Mr Jordaan said that the payment, made in 2008, was not a bribe to secure the 2010 tournament for the "Rainbow Nation".

Rather, it was made as a contribution towards Concacaf's football development fund, South African media quoted Mr Jordaan as saying. BBC sources reportedly confirmed that that the payment was indeed made to support football development in Africa.

At the time of the payment, Mr Warner - one of 14 people indicted for bribery at Fifa by the FBI last week - was chair of Concacaf and a vice-president of Fifa.

In an indictment filed by US prosecutors, it is alleged that South Africa made an illegal payment after promising $10m to Mr Warner for votes in favour of South Africa hosting the World Cup.

The indictment refers to a $10m payment was made in 2008 to “support the African diaspora” - but Mr Jordaan said that the payment was not the bribe referred to in the indictment.

Mr Jordaan told the South Africa's Sunday Independent newspaper: “I haven’t paid a bribe or taken a bribe from anybody in my life. We don’t know who is mentioned there [in the indictment].

“And I don’t want to assume that I am mentioned.

“They can ask all the executives of Fifa that I have engaged with,” said Jordaan, who was chief executive of the organising committee of the 2010 World Cup.

He added: “During my tenure as CEO at the 2010 World Cup Organising Committee, I was bound by regulations set out in the Schedule of Delegated Authority (Soda).

“Under that authority, I could authorise payments of a maximum of R1 million.”

Mr Warner, who has been arrested and bailed in his native Trinidad, has strenuously denied soliciting bribes. He lambasted the US authorities - but referred to a spoof article by the satirical website, The Onion, when he did so.