Earlier this week FIFA outlined how it believes South Africa bribed its way to the hosting rights of the 2010 World Cup. A US$10 million payment meant as a contribution towards the African Diaspora Legacy Project in the Caribbean is said to have been pocketed directly by then-FIFA vice president Jack Warner in exchange for CONCACAF votes in 2004. However football’s governing body appears to have done something of an about-turn now saying that it never accused the South Africans of any form of corruption.
On Sunday FIFA released a statement saying:
FIFA’s Request for Restitution is based on the allegations contained in the two indictments issued by the US Department of Justice against 41 defendants. In its submission, FIFA is restating these allegations as the principal basis for its restitution request. Eleven defendants have pleaded guilty to the charged offenses and admitted their crimes.
FIFA intends to seek restitution from these defendants for their misconduct, as well as any other defendants who are convicted. The US indictments do not allege that South Africa “bought” the World Cup with bribes. Nor does FIFA.
The US indictments, which FIFA is relying upon in its restitution request, merely accuses certain individuals of criminal behaviour.