Steven Tau
1 minute read
28 May 2015
12:20 pm

FIFA investigations lead to SA officials

Steven Tau

Former Safa president Kirsten Nematandani – linked to the pre-World Cup match fixing scandal in 2010 – on Wednesday denied that the FBI had contacted him.

Reports from the US suggest that unnamed officials from South Africa arranged to pay a $10 million bribe to the bid committee members to sway them to give the country the 2010 World Cup. At the time, Nematandani was the president of the South African Football Association.

American crime busters said their probe into bribery and wire fraud allegations at FIFA included South Africa. On Wednesday, Nematandani said he had wanted the investigators to speak to him so that he could “clear his name”.

“I am still waiting, because I need to clear my name. “The current investigations at FIFA is all about a protracted selection of World Cup host countries,” Nematandani.

Sport Minister Fikile Mbalula on Wednesday night declined to comment, but was likely to issue a statement on Thursday.

Government on Thursday denied any wrongdoing. “When we concluded the FIFA World Cup here in South Africa we got a clean audit report,” Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe told reporters.

“There has never been any suggestion that anything untoward happened in South Africa.” In a statement released on Wednesday, FIFA welcomed actions that could help contribute to rooting out any wrongdoing in football.

“Firstly, the arrest of six individuals this morning in Zurich concerns investigations by the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of the State of New York.

“The Swiss authorities, acting on behalf of their US counterparts, arrested the individuals for activities carried out in relation with CONCACAF and CONMEBOL business,” the statement read.

FIFA further said it was pleased to see that the investigation was being energetically pursued for the good of football and believe that it will help to reinforce measures it had already taken.