South Africa denies foul play in vote for 2010 WC

Sports minister Fikile Mbalula said that public money had not been given to “criminals”

Johannesburg: South African sports minister Fikile Mbalula on Thursday denied allegations that huge bribes were paid to win the right to host the 2010 World Cup, saying that public money had not been given to “criminals”. Fifa has been engulfed in a bribery scandal that includes accusations from the US attorney general that Fifa officials took cash in return for awarding the tournament to South Africa.

The US indictment alleged that bundles of cash in a briefcase were handed over at a Paris hotel as a bribe by a “high-ranking South African bid committee official”. It also alleged the South Africa government agreed that $10 million that was due to be paid to South Africa to run the World Cup was instead transferred from Fifa’s funds to pay bribes to former Fifa vice president Jack Warner.

“We as a government and people manage the resources of the South African people we did not share part of your resources with criminals, I am saying it now and forever,” he said.“The South African government and its people will not stand in any way of pursuing justice, criminality (and) fighting corruption in sport.”

Mbalula criticised how the US had made its allegations without consulting South Africa. “We are not and we have never acted in Hollywood and we are not used to these things,” he said.

( Source : AFP )
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