Bribery claims baseless – SAFA

World Cup
World Cup

South Africa have dismissed as “baseless” allegations made Wednesday in a US indictment that the country paid 10-million US dollars in bribes to host the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

“We are disappointed at the baseless and untested allegations and request proof from anyone who has contrary evidence,” SAFA spokesperson Dominic Chimhavi said.

“Our bid campaign was run by, among others, late president Nelson Mandela, former president Thabo Mbeki and several government ministers, who are men of integrity.”

South African sports minister Fikile Mbalula said he would comment on Thursday on the allegations.

US Attorney General Loretta Lynch alleged in New York that executives from world football governing body FIFA took bribes to vote for South Africa.

She said former FIFA vice-president and Trinidadian Jack Warner demanded a 10-million US dollars bribe and sent an intermediary to Paris to collect from a South African official a briefcase stuffed with American dollars.

Warner is among 14 officials and sports media-promotions executives facing corruption charges totalling more than 150-million US dollars in bribes.

The 2010 World Cup bidding was confined to Africa and South Africa defeated Morocco 14-10 in a vote to decide which country would be the first from the continent to stage the tournament.