I read this on Sport Business NewsWire and Ifeel you should read too. It’s amazing what’s happening in the world football governing house these days.
Fifa has denied reports that its general secretary, Jérôme Valcke, authorised a $10m (€9.2m) payment from the South African government to Jack Warner, a former vice-president of football’s global governing body, in order to secure votes for South Africa to host the 2010 World Cup.
The allegations, which were reported in the New York Times newspaper last night, were denied in a Fifa statement this (Tuesday) morning. Valcke (pictured) has not been charged with any crime nor has the US made any public allegations against him as part of the ongoing investment by the country’s Department of Justice.
Fifa said this morning: “In 2007, as part of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, the South African Government approved a $10m project to support the African diaspora in Caribbean countries as part of the World Cup legacy. At the request of the South African Government, and in agreement with the South African Football Association (SAFA), Fifa was asked to process the project’s funding by withholding $10m from the local organizing committee’s operational budget and using that to finance the Diaspora Legacy Program.”
Fifa added that neither Valcke nor ”any other member of Fifa’s senior management were involved in the initiation, approval and implementation” of the project. Fifa also said that the then chairman of Fifa’s Finance Committee, Julio Grondona, who died last year, had authorised the payment.
The Press Association Sport news agency tweeted a copy of a letter, addressed to Valcke from the SAFA, containing detailed instructions for the payment. Fifa added, in response to the publication of the letter: “The letter is consistent to our statement where we underlined that the Fifa Finance Committee made the final approval.”
In other news, Enrique Sanz, the general secretary of Concacaf, the sport’s continental body in North and Central America and the Caribbean, has been provisionally banned by Fifa’s Ethics Committee. Sanz has been suspended following investigations by the committee and also by US prosecutors while Congolese Football Association officials Jean Guy Blaise Mayolas and Badji Mombo Wantete have also been banned.
Yesterday it emerged that Nicolas Leoz, the former head of Conmebol, the continental body in Latin America, had been placed under house arrest in Paraguay. The development came after the Paraguayan foreign ministry received a request from the US embassy, who is seeking the extradition of Leoz.
Meanwhile Jose Luis Meiszner, Conmebol’s secretary general, has admitted that “one has to question the possibility of playing” the 2016 Copa America national team tournament following the revelations surrounding rights to the event. The tournament is scheduled to take place in the US.