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Bribe? What bribe? Danny Jordaan explains US$10m payment

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Danny Jordaan
SAFA's Danny Jordaan - now also mayor of Port Elizabeth - has confirmed that US$10m was paid to Jack Warner's football association in the Caribbean, but insists it was not a bribe, but money intended to help football development.

The Sunday Independent quoted Jordaan confirming the payment and making the denial days after US Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, described the payment as a bribe which was used to secure Warner vote for the hosting of the 2010 World Cup.

“I haven’t paid a bribe or taken a bribe from anybody in my life. We don’t know who is mentioned there (in the indictment). And I don’t want to assume that I am mentioned."

The Sunday Times yesterday revealed that the money was paid after a letter to Fifa from SAFA's  Molefi Oliphant requesting the payment. The money was deducted from Fifa money due to be paid to South Africa to assist with hosting the event.

According to Lynch's indictment, South Africa paid the money the Caribbean Football Union - a body that Warner was able to use to transfer the money to himself - under the guise of a donatino to “support the African diaspora”.

Warner told an American Fifa executive that he and a third executive with voting rights would get $1 million of the money, if they voted for South Africa.

South Africa beat Morocco by 14 votes to 10. The three votes secured by the $10 million had turned out to be the difference between winning and losing.

The American executive – named in the indictment only as Co-Conspirator

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#1, but widely believed to be US football official Charles Blazer who has already been found guilty of corruption – began to badger Warner for his share of the money, the indictment said.

According to Lynch, the South Africans now said it was impossible to pay the money directly out of government funds. Fifa was due to pay South Africa hundreds of millions of dollars to help finance the hosting of the bid. Arrangements were made to subtract the $10 million from this payment and divert the money to Warner. South Africa’s government and its taxpayers would be $10 million poorer without anyone being the wiser.

In January and March of 2008, an unnamed “high-ranking” Fifa official made three payments from the diverted South African money to the bank accounts of the CFU and CONCACAF, both of which were controlled by Warner.

The payments of $616 000, $1 600 000 and $7 784 000 - $10 million in total, were wired form a FIFA account in New York to the accounts controlled by Warner at Republic Bank in Trinidad and Tobago.

Warner began to use the money, in one instance to pay a personal loan to the tune of $200 000. Warner laundered the money through a Trinidadian businessman and a large supermarket chain in Trinidad and Tobago.

www.rdm.co.za



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