NewsEast & Horn AfricaSouth Africa will not be the fall guys for FIFA

Fri,17Nov2017

Posted on Thursday, 04 June 2015 11:08

South Africa will not be the fall guys for FIFA

By Crystal Oderson in Cape Town

Sports minister Fikile Mbabula. Photo©ReutersSouth Africa has come out guns blazing, dismissing allegations that it bribed top FIFA officials to win the 2010 World Cup bid.

Sports minister Fikile Mbabula told journalists that "South Africa will not be the fall guys for FIFA" as the scandal rocking the world soccer governing body unfolded.

we were not sniffer dogs to check if everyone was legit or not

Mbalula's statements came at a time the country's crime fighting unit - the Hawks - said they would conduct a preliminary investigation into allegations that South African Football Association president Danny Jordaan was involved in the funneling of the alleged $10 million bribe.

Mbalula told a televised press conference, the government and 2010 World Cup Local Organising Committee (LOC) "had not paid any bribes to anyone to secure the rights to host the World Cup".

"We will approach the US to share information with us to study the facts carefully and take approproprate action," he said.

"We also call upon all to desist from commenting on the matter and afford the government time to deal with the matter."

But former FIFA executive Charles Blazer admitted in court he took bribes in connection with the World Cup held in South Africa, among other major tournaments.

Blazer's admission, made in November 2013 in a United States court plea bargain, is the latest twist in a week of high drama in South African and international football.

"We didn't know there were crooks out there and that we were dealing with them, we were not sniffer dogs to check if everyone was legit or not, we worked with everyone to ensure a successful World cup" Mbalula said.

However, conspicuous by the absence at the briefing were LOC member, including Danny Jordan and Irvin Khoza.



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