Nine things you need to know about the Fifa scandal

1. US prosecutors have alleged that South Africa paid a bribe of $10-million to secure its bid to host the 2010 soccer world cup. South Africa has admitted that the money was paid, but the government says this was not a bribe. 

2. According to the US indictment, Fifa then paid the money to its former vice president, Jack Warner, who was also the head of the Caribbean Football Union. Officially, South Africa says this money was to support the development of football in the region.    

3. A  BBC investigation reveals how the money was deposited into Warner’s account, and then moved around to various other accounts linked to Warner, in what appears to be an attempt to siphon the $10-million back to him for personal use. Warner denies the claims.  

4. Sports minister Fikile Mbalula maintains the money was for the development of football, and has  outright denied that the money was a bribe. On twitter, the minister said that a video, showing former President Thabo Mbeki talking about the money being used for football development, proved that it was not a bribe.

But he has been sharply criticised for his response to the scandal:

5. The Mail & Guardian reveals that Danny Jordaan wrote to Fifa, asking for the payment of $10-million to be paid by Fifa. The letter reveals that Jordaan did this after discussions with African Union Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. 

6. A top Fifa official, Chuck Blazer, pleaded guilty to arranging bribes for World Cup bid winners, including South Africa, in 2013. His testimony was kept under lock and key by a US court until US prosecutors made the court proceedings public during the announcement of their investigation.    

7. In total, US authorities have charged 14 people with corruption in relation to the worldwide bribery probe. This included nine Fifa officials and five business people. The bribery scheme is alleged to span a 24 year period. Warner is among the officials charged. The investigation began with a probe into a bribes-for-broadcasting rights investigation, but officials soon uncovered evidence of bribes-for-bids, too.    

8. Swiss authorities have launched probes into the successful bids to host the 2018 and 2022 world cups, successfully won by Qatar and Russia.    

9. In 2014, Fifa’s chief ethics investigator, resigned in protest, after his investigative report into the 2018 and 2022 world cup bids was allegedly quashed by Fifa.

See the Fifa special report here.

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Sarah Evans
Sarah Evans

Sarah Evans interned at the Diamond Fields Advertiser in Kimberley for three years before completing an internship at the Mail & Guardian Centre for Investigative Journalism (amaBhungane). She went on to work as a Mail & Guardian news reporter with areas of interest including crime, law, governance and the nexus between business and politics. 


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