FIFA secretary general Valcke dragged into bribery row
America’s domestic intelligence and security service, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which is looking into the multi-million-dollar monetary scandal, believes the amount was made as a bribe by the South African Football Association (SAFA) via FIFA’s bank account in Zurich to former FIFA <g data-gr-id="18">vice president</g> Jack Warner, also the head of the Caribbean Football Union.
SAFA requested FIFA to deduct $10 millions from the $423 <g data-gr-id="17">millions</g> due to the organisers of the 2010 World Cup.
The payment followed a letter from South Africa FA president Molefi Oliphant to Valcke, asking for the payment to be withheld from World Cup funds and paid instead to Warner to support football in the Caribbean. American prosecutors allege that the South African government paid $10 million in bribes to Warner and other football officials in order to secure their votes for South Africa to host the 2010 World Cup.
The FBI believes Valcke authorised the payment, the New York Times reported on Monday. The payments were allegedly disguised as money to “support the African diaspora”. FIFA said Valcke was not involved, but that the payment was made at the request of the South African government and SAFA. “The letter is consistent to our statement where we underlined that the FIFA Finance Committee made the final approval,” the FIFA statement said on Tuesday. Valcke has denied that he was the “high ranking official” and said he did not have the authority to order the payments. “The payments totalling $10m were authorised by the then chairman of the Fin Committee and executed in accordance with Organisation Regulations of FIFA.”
Pele backs Blatter amid soccer graft probe
Pele has lent his support to re-elected FIFA president Sepp Blatter amid a corruption scandal engulfing world football's governing body. Blatter won a fifth straight four-year term in charge of FIFA during a vote in Zurich last Friday.The result came two days after seven FIFA officials were arrested on corruption charges as part of a US prosecution that named 14 people. Blatter was not among those indicted but has faced calls to resign. "I was in favour [of his re-election]. It was necessary because it is better to have people with experience," Xinhua quoted Pele as saying.
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