Allegations that South Africa promised a $10 million bribe to a former FIFA vice president to win its 2010 World Cup bid were unfounded, a South African Football Association spokesman said on Wednesday.
“We are disappointed at the allegations … they are baseless and untested and we request proof from anyone who has evidence to the contrary to come forward,” said SAFA director of communications Dominic Chimhavi.
“Our bid campaign … was run, by among others, late president Nelson Mandela and former president Thabo Mbeki and several government ministers, who are men of integrity,” Chimhavi said.
A statement from the South African government was expected later on Wednesday. At a press conference in New York on Wednesday, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the former FIFA vice president, Jack Warner, solicited 10 million US dollars in bribes from the South African government to host the 2010 World Cup.
Warner issued a statement saying he is innocent of any charges. Warner, formerly an influential official at world football’s governing body, is among nine officials and five sports media and promotions executives facing corruption charges involving more than $150 million in bribes.