Skeletons rattling over SA's R140m SWC payment

Danny Jordaan (Gallo Images)
Danny Jordaan (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Skeletons have begun to rattle again over South Africa's $10m (R140m) payment prior to the hosting of the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

The bones of contention were effectively dug up when SAFA president Danny Jordaan revealed at the national body's congress last weekend that the organisation had finalised and submitted a claim for the R140m to the South African government.

The substantial amount, which was part of the funds designated to be paid to SAFA by FIFA to assist in the staging of the World Cup, was instead diverted to Central America for what was supposed to be a programme of assistance to the African diaspora in furthering their soccer aspirations in the area.

Instead, the money apparently landed in the coffers of disgraced former FIFA vice-president and CONCACAF president Jack Warner and a couple of his footballing cronies, with consequent claims that the financial bonanza had, in fact, been a bribe to secure the votes from the Central African Federation for South Africa to stage the World Cup.

The dire allegation was denied by both SAFA and the South African government, who both, however, admitted they had taken part in negotiations over the destination of the said R140m, while proclaiming piously it was only done with the best of intentions.

What has happened since is that it became patently clear that the African diaspora in Central America hardly benefited a cent from the unusual windfall that was supposedly heading in their direction and criminal charges were levelled at Warner and his associates as part of a widespread FIFA clean-up conducted in the United States.

Although it was widely believed that others of one sort or another involved in the quasi-diaspora payment had got away with murder, it appeared the matter was dead and buried as far as South Africa was concerned.

Not so it now seems after Jordaan's disclosure this week, with the implication that SAFA believes the South African government had agreed in the first place to funding the diaspora debacle.

And what is no less than amazing is that SAFA's "finalising" of the tarnished $10m dollars has taken approximately 10 years to be submitted to the South African government.

Yes! Ten Years. Makes one think, doesn't it?

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