January 13 – Danny Jordan (pictured), the public face of the 2010 World Cup, is once again embroiled in controversy following allegations by one of his former rivals within South African football that he helped facilitate a $10 million payment to Concacaf to land the tournament.
The reports said banned former SAFA CEO Leslie Sedibe had laid criminal charges against Jordaan, head of the South African FA, and had asked authorities to investigate the case.
The money was reportedly provided by South Africa’s National Lotteries Commission (NLC) to prepare for the World Cup following a meeting by SAFA top brass, former president Jacob Zuma and the country’s wealthy Gupta family.
Sedibe has been having running battles with SAFA bosses ever since he was banned for five years for match-fixing by FIFA in 2016. He was quoted as saying he opened the case because his own investigations showed that the payment was a bribe to former Concacaf president Jack Warner.
SAFA spokesperson Dominic Chimhavi denied all allegations against SAFA and its president, labelling Sedibe a liar.
“The $10 million which was given to the Caribbean was a government decision not a Danny Jordaan decision,” he said. “The money which was given to the Caribbean was not okayed by Jordaan but by the government, and the former minister of sport, Fikile Mbalula, made that very clear. He had several press conferences to say this was a government decision not a Safa decision, not a Jordaan decision, not [former Safa president Molefi] Oliphant’s decision but a government decision.
“So if he [Sedibe] wants to open a case he should open a case against Mbeki or the government.”
A FIFA spokesman declined to comment since the matter was still under investigation.
The case of the missing $10 million has plagued South Africa ever since the FifaGate scandal exploded in 2015.
The country has long insisted that it did nothing wrong and that that it paid the $10m in the belief that it was genuinely to support the African diaspora in the Caribbean, even though region’s football was run at the time by Warner who later banned for life last year and has a history of corruption allegations against him.
Jordaan’s star has waned in recent months and late last year he was well beaten in his attempt to get back to the top table of FIFA, losing out to Walter Nyamilandu, head of the Malawi Football Association,in his attempt to secure a vacant African spot on the governing council of FIFA. He is also embroiled in allegations of sexual abuse.
Sedibe apparantly told police in his 17-page statement that when he was appointed SAFA CEO in January 2010, he “inherited an organisation that was in a mess and was dysfunctional”.
Acting SAFA CEO Russell Paul said the latest allegations were merely a smear campaign with the federation issuing a powerful statement defending Jordaan.
“It has come to the attention of SAFA, that its former CEO, Leslie Sedibe – currently serving a ban by FIFA for his alleged role in match-fixing – may have laid a complaint with the South African Police Services,” the statement said. “SAFA wishes to state that Leslie Sedibe has no valid interest in this matter and in any event, was the CEO during the time of 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
“Leslie has also since been banned by FIFA for his alleged involvement with the alleged fixing of matches involving South Africa, leading up to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. From this unsigned complaint seen by SAFA, Leslie Sedibe’s actions appear to be nothing but vindictive, malicious and above all wrongful, as it appears he is trying to gain retribution for FIFA’s action against him by defaming the SAFA leadership and the organisation as a whole.
“In these circumstances, Dr Jordaan, whose name is being besmirched by this concerted smear campaign, will seek to take the necessary legal action against Leslie Sedibe, if it is found that the currently unsigned complaint in SAFA’s possession is deemed to be authorised by him.”
“It has also become known that Leslie Sedibe has been meeting with former disgruntled SAFA NEC members to pursue this smear campaign, aimed to discredit Dr Jordaan and SAFA as a whole.”
“This alleged complaint is part of an ongoing smear campaign against SAFA and its leadership, and it is common cause that Leslie Sedibe is not acting alone. Dr Jordaan recently stood for a position on the FIFA Council, and in order to have done that, was exposed to the vigorous FIFA Integrity checks required to declare him eligible to stand for such elections. Both FIFA and its Integrity Committee declared Dr Jordaan eligible to stand for election. SAFA and Dr Jordaan reserve their rights in this matter and will take the necessary appropriate action in law to protect their good names.”
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