South Africa denies $10m World Cup bribe04 June 2015 BBC Online
South Africa has denied paying a $10m bribe to secure the 2010 World Cup, in the wake of a US inquiry into corruption at world football body FIFA.
Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula said that the money in question was above board and intended to support football in the African diasporas in the Caribbean.
The FIFA scandal erupted last week when US prosecutors indicted 14 people.
On Tuesday, President Sepp Blatter said that he was to step down, just days after he had been re-elected.
Of the 14 indicted by the US on charges of racketeering and money laundering, seven were senior FIFA officials, including two vice-presidents. The seven were arrested in Switzerland as they awaited the FIFA congress, and are currently awaiting extradition to the US.
The US justice department alleges that the 14 accused accepted bribes and kickbacks of more than $150m (£97m) over a 24-year period.
In a press conference on Wednesday, Mbalula said that South Africa "categorically denied" the allegation, adding that the money went towards an approved programme. How FIFA makes and spends its money
"We refuse to be caught up in a battle of the United States authorities and FIFA," he said, adding that South Africa would cooperate with the US investigation.
Separately, Interpol issued a wanted persons alert for two former FIFA officials, including Jack Warner, as well as four corporate executives. All six were on the list of US indictments last week.
Announcing his resignation on Tuesday, Sepp Blatter said that it appeared that the mandate he had been given in last Friday's FIFA vote "does not seem to be supported by everyone in the world".