Johannesburg – The South African government did not pay a bribe in order to host the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup, former president Thabo Mbeki said.
”As former President of the Republic of South Africa, I have noted reports alleging that bribes were solicited and paid to some officials of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (Fifa) in exchange for our country to host the 2010 Soccer World Cup,” Mbeki said in a statement.
”I am not aware of anybody who solicited a bribe from the government for the purpose of our country being awarded the right to host the World Cup. As Minister of Sport and Recreation, Fikile Mbalula, has stated on behalf of the government, no public money was ever used to pay a bribe. I wish to state that the government that I had the privilege to lead would never have paid any bribe even if it were solicited.”
The American Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) were investigating the alleged corruption and bribery which on Wednesday saw a number of top FIFA officials arrested at its Switzerland headquarters.
US Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the former Fifa vice-president, Jack Warner obtained a US$10 bribe from the South African government to host the tournament.
On Thursday, Mbalula denied the allegations and said government never paid any bribery prior to the hosting of the soccer tournament.
Mbeki was president during the campaign by South Africa to host the world cup. - ANA