South Africa: South African senior football administrators charged over FIFA scandal

Cape Town, South Africa (PANA) – South African Member of Parliament Solly Malatsi of the official opposition Democratic Alliance on Monday laid criminal charges at the Cape Town Central Police Station against two leading football administrators who have been implicated in the FIFA graft scandal.

The charges were laid against Danny Jordaan, president of the SA Football Association and the association’s former president, Molefi Oliphant, “so that South Africa can initiate a criminal investigation into the allegation that a US$10 million bribe was paid to the North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) in return for votes to host the 2010 World Cup".

Oliphant headed the association when South Africa bid for the rights to host the showpiece of international football, while Jordaan is widely credited with securing the country the rights.

Malatsi said the World Cup will remain one of South Africa’s shining achievements but it is vitally important to hold those allegedly guilty of corruption to account and that a clear message is sent to those who seek to tarnish South Africa though corrupt activities, that they will not be allowed to get away with it.

The charges laid against Jordaan and Oliphant include fraud as well as corruption under Section 3 of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, 2004.

“We know that both Jordaan and Oliphant are implicated in the decision to transfer the money for CONCACAF’s Diaspora Legacy Programme in two letters.

"A letter, written and signed by Jordaan in his capacity as the CEO of the Bid Committee in December 2007, shows that he instructed FIFA to authorise the US$10 million payment to CONCACAF. A second letter from Oliphant to FIFA in March 2008 shows the he too instructed the payment of the US$10 million,” Malatsi charged.

Charles Blazer, a former member of FIFA’s executive committee has admitted that he and others “on the FIFA executive committee agreed to accept bribes in conjunction with the selection of South Africa as the host nation for the 2010 World Cup.”

The indictment of Jack Warner, former Vice President of FIFA, revealed that at least two South African officials were central to the 2010 World Cup bribery. The two individuals have not yet been named but have been described as high ranking members of the 2010 Bid Committee and the Local Organising Committee.  

The indictment also details that the bribed FIFA officials were informed that the South Africans were unable to arrange for the payment made directly from government funds.  

Arrangements were thereafter made with FIFA officials to instead have the $10 million sent from FIFA – using funds that would otherwise have gone from FIFA to South Africa to support the World Cup.

He noted that the funds were originally intended for football development in South Africa and could have been used to buy 780,000 soccer balls, 270,000 pairs of boots, kits for 26,000 soccer teams, and 140 brand new soccer pitches.

“In the end, the only beneficiary of these funds was an official by the name of Jack Warner  from Trinidad and Tobago and not the people of South Africa as was originally intended.

"The fact of the matter is that corruption steals opportunities from the people of South Africa, and in his case, from the development of a sport we love in our country. Corruption must not be tolerated. Those responsible must face the consequences for choosing to act dishonestly,” he added.

Jordaan and Oliphant have yet to comment on the allegations.
-0- PANA CU/AR 21Sept2015

21 september 2015 16:55:39

xhtml CSS