Hawks look into Fifa bribery, deny formal probe

2015-06-04 18:39


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Johannesburg - The Hawks are looking into allegations that the South African Football Association (Safa) was involved in the Fifa bribery scandal, but denied a formal probe had been started.

"The speculations that have been doing the rounds claiming that Hawks are investigating Safa President Dr Danny Jordaan and other Safa officials are simply malicious, baseless and unfounded," a statement said.

However, Hawks confirmed that it had received documents from the FF Plus "concerning the Fifa issues" and that an informal inquiry had been opened to "investigate the contents of the documents".

"We have not received any correspondence from the FBI or United States authorities, who are at the centre of the Fifa controversy investigations," the statement added.

"We are looking into the matter. This will form a preliminary investigation and it will determine whether this will be a full-blown formal investigation," Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi told eNCA.

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula on Wednesday denied that the $10m payment made by South Africa to the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) was a bribe to secure the hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The "above-the-board" payment to an "approved project" was "not a bribe," he told a press conference.

The minister said South Africa does not oppose the current investigation by the United States into alleged bribery, but called on the US to come forward with proof to back such allegations.

The US authorities are investigating the transfer of $10m, paid by Fifa on behalf of 2010 World Cup hosts South Africa, which had been unable to pay the sum directly from government funds.

Ailing former Fifa official Chuck Blazer has admitted that he and others accepted bribes before the votes that gave the 1998 World Cup to France and the 2010 World Cup to South Africa, according to newly unsealed US court documents.

Jack Warner, the former head of both the Central and North American soccer body CONCACAF and CFU, was one of 14 people indicted in the United States last week on bribery and corruption charges.

In a statement Tuesday, Fifa said $10m was paid to Warner following a request by the South African government to "support the African diaspora in Caribbean countries as part of the World Cup legacy".

Safa instructed Fifa to have the diaspora legacy programme administered and implemented directly by Warner, who at that time was deputy chairperson of the finance committee and who "should act as the fiduciary of the ... fund", the statement said.

Read more on:    hawks  |  danny jordaan  |  fifa bribery scandal

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