Danny Jordaan admits that a payment was made, but claims not to know who it was authorised by ©AFP/Getty Images

Danny Jordaan, President of the South African Football Association (SAFA) and former chief executive of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, has confirmed that a $10 million (£6 million/€9 million) payment referred to in this week’s United States Department of Justice (DoJ) indictment was indeed made.

But Jordaan, recently elected as executive mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay, insisted the payment was not a bribe.

The indictment, charging nine football officials and five others with racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies, at one point alleges that a “high-ranking FIFA official” in 2008 “caused payments” totalling $10 million to be wired from a FIFA account in Switzerland for credit to accounts controlled by Jack Warner, a former FIFA vice-president who is one of the 14 indicted defendants.

The DoJ alleges that this money would otherwise have gone from FIFA to South Africa, and was understood to have been paid in exchange for the agreement of Warner and two other then FIFA Executive Committee (ExCo) members to vote for South Africa to host the 2010 World Cup.

Newly-reelected FIFA President Sepp Blatter was this week forced to deny that he was the FIFA official in question, saying: “Definitely that’s not me” and “I had no $10 million.”

According to a South African media report, Jordaan said the $10 million was paid to the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) in 2008 as South Africa’s contribution towards their football development fund.

Jordaan said the money was directly paid over to them by FIFA.

Sepp Blatter was forced to face several questions about the payment during the first day of his fifth term in office yesterday ©Getty Images
Sepp Blatter was forced to face several questions about the payment during the first day of his fifth term in office yesterday ©Getty Images

The report then quotes a SAFA official as explaining that CONCACAF was chosen above any other members, including those from Africa because “it regarded itself as part of the African diaspora”.

This phrase also appears in the US indictment, a sentence of which reads: “Subsequently, Co-Conspirator #1 learned from the defendant Jack Warner that high-ranking officials of FIFA, the South African Government and the South African Bid Committee, including Co-Conspirator #16, were prepared to arrange for the Government of South Africa to pay $10 million to CFU to “support the African diaspora”.

According to the South African report, Jordaan said the 2010 Bid Committee concluded its business with the awarding of the World Cup on May 15, 2004.

“I haven’t paid a bribe or taken a bribe from anybody in my life," he said, as reported by Independent Online.

“We don’t know who is mentioned there [in the indictment].

“And I don’t want to assume that I am mentioned.

“They can ask all the executives of FIFA that I have engaged with,” said Jordaan, adding: “During my tenure as chief executive at the 2010 World Cup Organising Committee, I was bound by regulations set out in the Schedule of Delegated Authority (SODA).

“Under that authority, I could authorise payments of a maximum of R1 million ($82,000/£53,000/€75,000).”

Jordaan said South Africa won the 2010 World Soccer Cup bid on May 15, 2004 and the $10 million was only paid by FIFA to CONCACAF in 2008.

“How could we have paid a bribe for votes four years after we had won the bid?”

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