What Tutu promised Fifa

2010-06-28 11:27

Anti-apartheid icon Desmond Tutu promised Fifa top brass a

first-class pass to heaven if they granted then-World Cup hopeful South Africa

the host bid, a top organising official said today.

The Nobel peace prize laureate had told South African organisers

that he would only support a bribe-free South African bid, Danny Jordaan told

the CNN Global Forum.

“Then we had our first meeting with the Fifa executive and

Archbishop Tutu said: If you vote for us, I will make sure that you get a

first-class ticket to heaven,” Jordaan quoted him as saying.

“I kept quiet and when we went out, I said: Arch, but you said we

must not bribe. Isn’t that a bribe?

“He said: No, no, it’s not a bribe. A bribe is only when you give

things to people who are alive. In order to get their first-class ticket, they

must first die. That’s not a bribe.”

Jordaan also paid homage to South Africa’s first democratic

president, Nelson Mandela, who travelled the world to support the continent’s

first tournament.

“Madiba, his hands, his fingerprints, are all over all of these

events,” Jordaan said, referring also to the 1995 rugby World Cup, which was

seen as a racially uniting force in the country.

Mandela was in Zurich when South Africa’s successful bid was

announced six years ago.

“It was such an emotional moment for him and Archbishop Tutu. We

have photos where he started dropping some tears and Archbishop Tutu took out

his handkerchief to wipe off the tears. It was just incredible.”

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