Johannesburg: South Africa have again denied that a payment of $10 million to former FIFA vice president Jack Warner during their successful bid for the 2010 World Cup was a bribe.
Sports minister Fikile Mbalula on Wednesday told a news conference that neither South Africa`s government nor the 2010 World Cup bid and organising committee bought votes for the right to host the finals.
It follows last week’s indictment filed by U.S. prosecutors that alleges world soccer`s governing body paid the sum to the Caribbean Football Union, headed by Warner.
FIFA`s issued a statement on Tuesday saying that, in 2007, as part of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the South African government approved a $10 million project to support the African diaspora in Caribbean countries.
However, the U.S. indictment says the money — an alleged bribe from South Africa for the World Cup — was shared by Warner and other CONCACAF members in return for their votes.
Warner is among 14 FIFA officials and corporate executives charged by the U.S. Department of Justice last Wednesday with running a criminal enterprise that involved more than $150 million in bribes.