By Lunga Kupiso
Days after FIFA, the worlds Football Governing Body released a 22 page long document, addressed to the US Government for financial amends that the organization has lost through the ill-dealings of former executives (to date 39 defendants) who defrauded the footballing body of $ 198 million FIFA claimed.
In the very same document submitted to US authorities by FIFA, the South African Footballing Association is linked with bribes paid to certain former executive members in exchange for favourable votes for World Cup hosting rights, in this document, the link with South Africa is to the value of $ 10 million.
SAFA has since been mum on the statement released by FIFA amidst media pressure and refers all questions to the Sports Minister in the republic, Mr. Fikile Mbalula, who is “the only person allowed to comment on the matter” and the minister hasn’t changed his denial statement from the first time these allegations were made known. “We did not bribe. We did everything according to the book. But if others were found to have bribed, then let them explain,” said the minister.
However the sanctions on former top SAFA officials including former CEO, Leslie Sedibe who was found to have infringed rules related to disclosure, cooperation and reporting of the FIFA Code of Ethics. Lindile Kika, Steve Goddard and Adeel Carelse are the other former officials to be sanctioned along Sedibe. It is these sanctions that will make it harder for the public to accept the facts as presented by SAFA or the Sports Minister. This has certainly set back progress made in Football in the country and the legacy of the 2010 World Cup seems to have been tarnished.