23 May 2024 | 09:00 AM

2010 World Cup $10-million ‘bribe’: SA left out even as $201-million returned to FIFA 

Key Takeaways

  • The South African Football Association is not slated to benefit from $201-million to be paid to victims of FIFA’s corruption scandal, seemingly because the association denies it was swindled out of the $10-million.
  • This is a major blow to SAFA who have tried numerous avenues to recover the funds, which were part of the millions that FIFA claims it lost through corruption.
  • A former SAFA NEC member alleges the $10-million was a ‘fraudulent transaction’ as it was never authorised by the NEC, but 15 years later the NEC has not held anyone accountable for the loss.

The sour legacy of the $10-million the South African Football Association (SAFA) allegedly paid to seal the award of the 2010 FIFA World Cup continues to haunt the association, its president Danny Jordaan and South African football at large, an amaBhungane investigation has found.

It appears that SAFA will not benefit from $201-million (almost R4-billion) in restitution awarded to FIFA by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) last year, even though the alleged $10-million ‘bribe’ paid to ex-Caribbean football supremo Jack Warner was cited in FIFA’s claim.

Warner was Vice President of FIFA (world football’s governing body) and President of the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) at the time of the payment. He served in those roles until his suspension and eventual resignation in 2011.

South African authorities have always claimed the $10-million (now worth around R190-million) was “support” for the “African diaspora legacy programme” but the money was paid into a bank account controlled by Warner.

The 80-year-old is still fighting a rearguard action to avoid extradition to the United States to face charges of racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering.

Those charges stem from a 2015 indictment that rocked the footballing world. Most of South Africa’s attention when that indictment was unsealed by US authorities was on the allegation that the $10-million was paid to Warner as a reward for voting for South Africa’s successful 2010 World Cup bid.

The uproar that followed drowned out a key allegation regarding the payment: that the funds were charged to SAFA’s account without the knowledge and approval of the association’s national executive committee (NEC) – SAFA’s highest decision-making body.

Now SAFA’s omission from the list of “victim organisations” in the $201-million claim means that the $10-million the association lost, through what one former SAFA vice-president claims was a “fraudulent transaction”, is unlikely to be recovered.   

SAFA, which is in a “precarious” financial position according to the association’s former vice-president Gay Mokoena, will watch from the sidelines as FIFA distributes the billions of rands awarded by the DoJ.

This development brings into sharp focus the role Jordaan played in facilitating the $10-million payment during his tenure as CEO of the 2010 FIFA World Cup local organising committee (LOC), and in subsequent efforts to put an innocent face on the transaction – at least from South Africa’s side.

It also shines a light on the SAFA NEC’s potential failure to fulfil their fiduciary duties which includes protecting the association’s financial interests. 

Restitution

“These funds [$10-million] should have been used either by FIFA for the benefit of its member associations or the 2010 FIFA World Cup local organising committee, or as originally intended to benefit the Caribbean region,” FIFA wrote in their official request for restitution.

The world governing body painted itself as a victim robbed of millions of dollars by people it trusted to handle FIFA business in various associations across the globe.

FIFA cited the $10-million paid to Warner among the funds it sought to recover in the petition it submitted to the DoJ along with CONCACAF and the South American football governing body, Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol (CONMEBOL).

Former SAFA chief executive Dennis Mumble, who wrote to FIFA on 22 June 2016 pledging SAFA’s support of the restitution claim, told amaBhungane that his letter was part of a process to plead the association’s case that they were also a victim.

“We trust that, should these allegations be proven to be true, the restitution claim would be favourably considered by the US authorities and that the football family would have its good reputation restored and that the victims of these ugly deeds be recompensed,” Mumble wrote.

Yet it is unclear whether SAFA followed up on this letter, and indeed presented their case as a victim.

SAFA and FIFA did not respond to amaBhungane’s question on whether SAFA is regarded as a victim.

FIFA and the DoJ’s statement only mention FIFA, CONCACAF and CONMEBOL as those who will benefit from the over $200-million.

Why not SAFA?

AmaBhungane’s deep dive into how the original $10-million was paid in January 2008 suggests that SAFA was indeed a victim – a victim of Jordaan and Jérôme Valcke, the former FIFA general secretary.

The evidence shows they scrambled to get the payment pushed through – without proper authorisation and without explanation for the rush.

Whether they acted in innocent good faith or as knowing participants in a kickback scheme is not clear.

However, the evidence suggests that Jordaan’s central role, then and now, has hamstrung SAFA’s ability to claim its share, has contributed to poisoning Jordaan’s relationship with a string of SAFA office-bearers, and has compromised the imperative for the SAFA NEC to hold him to account over the issue.

SAFA and Jordaan, through their lawyers, told amaBhungane they regarded our inquiries (comprising 27 questions posed over 12 pages of context and evidence) as contributing to “false, reckless, baseless and erroneous reporting”.

Their lawyers, Fairbridges Wertheim Becker, wrote to us, “It is perplexing that you seem hard and fast in continuing at levelling questions to our client regarding the $10 000 000 paid by FIFA for the African Diaspora.”

This was perplexing to them because “the matter dates back to 2007 (15 years ago) and is therefore inanimate having died a natural death”; because SAFA had previously answered questions related to the payment and because the South African government had spoken on the matter and it “was considered closed years ago”.

The letter went on to accuse amaBhungane of “bias” and therefore neither SAFA nor Jordaan would be answering any of our questions. SAFA NEC members who sit on the national list also did not respond to an earlier question on whose authority the $10-million was taken.

In February, perhaps as a result of earlier questions from amaBhungane sent in December, SAFA announced it had referred allegations, including those related to the diaspora legacy projects, to its ethics committee, chaired by retired Justice Sisi Khampepe.

AmaBhungane sent a copy of its latest questions to Khampepe, who did not acknowledge receipt.

Recap: South Africa, Warner & Co-Conspirator #4

Whether Jordaan likes it or not, the matter is still very much alive.

The US authorities’ prosecution has seen 27 individual defendants and four corporate entities plead guilty. Two FIFA heavyweights, Juan Angel Napout of Paraguay and Brazil’s Jose Maria Marin, were convicted of racketeering after a trial.

A number of the defendants were ordered to forfeit assets obtained through corrupt activities, and under federal law the DoJ has the authority to distribute proceeds of the forfeited assets through a remission process to victims of the crime.  

This was the origin of more than $200-million which the DoJ awarded to FIFA.

Various trials under the main FIFA docket are still underway, while the case against Warner – which is the one that implicates South Africa – is yet to begin.

It is worth recalling what the latest indictment against Warner, lodged in 2020, had to say.

It alleges, “In approximately 2004, high-ranking officials of FIFA and the South African government indicated to the defendant Jack Warner that they were prepared to arrange for the government of South Africa to pay $10 million… purportedly to ‘support the African diaspora’ but in fact to secure the votes of Warner and other CONCACAF representatives on the FIFA executive committee in favour of South Africa as host of the 2010 tournament.”

The alleged reward payment was made four years later: “As part of the scheme, on or about January 2, 2008, January 31, 2008 and March 7, 2008, a high-ranking FIFA official, Co-Conspirator #4, caused payments of $616 000, $1 600 000 and $7 784 000 — totalling $10 million — to be wired from a FIFA account in Switzerland to a Bank of America correspondent account… for credit to accounts held in the names of CFU [Caribbean Football Union] and CONCACAF, but controlled by the defendant Jack Warner.”

Wooing Warner

AmaBhungane has pieced together the strange details of the payments – and their lasting fallout – from court records, interviews with former SAFA officials and from documents disgorged by SAFA as a result of a 2017 access to information request by amaBhungane.

We know that “high-ranking FIFA official, Co-Conspirator #4”, is in fact former general secretary Jérôme Valcke – because of documents that have emerged showing he was pressing South African officials to make the payment.

Valcke, who is appealing a Swiss conviction for bribery in a case involving World Cup media rights, told amaBhungane, “This case has been closed by both prosecutors in the US and Switzerland because whatever you think, there was never any evidence saying that neither [former FIFA president Sepp] Blatter, [former FIFA deputy general secretary] Markus Kattner or myself have done anything wrong and all was supported by evidence showing we only did what was agreed between the parties in regards of this diaspora support decided by the South African government, SAFA and CONCACAF/CFU.”

The African Diaspora Legacy Programme, under whose name the money was paid, was the brainchild of former President Thabo Mbeki who mentioned in several speeches and in the bid document that the 2010 FIFA World Cup should benefit not only South Africa, but the rest of the continent and those in the African Diaspora.

This statement by Mbeki has been used by various government officials as well as SAFA to justify why the $10-million was not a bribe.

“The South African government was “a principal originator of the policy to include the African Diaspora in the 2010 FIFA World Cup” and the “prominence … of high-ranking South African Government officials” demonstrates government’s “commitment to the [$10-million] ‘Diaspora payment’,” SAFA’s lawyers told up in 2017.

But no-one has produced an official proclamation where Mbeki or his government commits the country to paying the amount as part of the programme.

Yet, as amaBhungane reported in 2015, South Africa was acutely aware of the need to get the three votes CONCACAF controlled on the FIFA executive and pulled out all stops to lobby Warner.

If there was a secret SA government commitment, as alleged in the US indictment, then it might account for why Jordaan is so angry at being left holding the $10-million baby.

However, as we shall see, there might have been another reason why the delayed payment became so urgent at the end of 2007.

The Jérôme and Danny show

Valcke seems to have kick-started the drive to get these funds paid as soon as possible following a crucial meeting in Zurich on 19 September 2007, allegedly between Valcke, Jordaan, FIFA president Blatter and then deputy finance minister Jabu Moleketi.

Seemingly it was agreed between those present that the South African government would pay $10- million to CONCACAF because the same day, Valcke addressed a letter to foreign affairs director-general Ayanda Ntsaluba asking him to confirm this arrangement.

He informed Ntsaluba the South African government had committed to paying $10-million “to the legacy programme for the Diaspora and specifically for the Caribbean Countries”.

According to Valcke, the agreement was that the funds would be paid to FIFA who would in turn transfer it to CONCACAF.

Jordaan followed up with Ntsaluba two days later, attaching Valcke’s letter to his inquiry and ending his communication by stating: “Your cooperation in ensuring that government meets its commitment will be highly appreciated.”

Jordaan also wrote to Warner on the same day, informing him that he had met with Valcke, Blatter and Moleketi in Zurich on 19 September 2007 and assuring him that he would “ensure that the matter is concluded as soon as possible”.

Moleketi has refused to comment on the Zurich meeting.

The former deputy minister – who now chairs Harith General Partners, the main buyer of SAA – told amaBhungane that the $10-million matter had been finalised by the US, Swiss and South African authorities so he did not understand the publication’s “obsession” with the issue.

Valcke was pushing so hard for an urgent finalisation of this payment that on 7 December 2007 he sent an email to Moleketi at 1.34am in which Valcke complains that he “never received confirmation” that his letter of 19 September 2007 had been received, adding: “but more important I would like to know when the transfer can be done”.

He finishes by saying: “This is based on discussion between FIFA and the South African government and also between our President and H.E President Mbeki.”

There is no explanation what was behind the need for these funds to be paid so urgently, even though they were part of a legacy of a tournament that was three years away at the time.

By comparison, the plan was that the other Legacy projects would only start receiving funding in 2008 and would receive funding over the course of at least three years – these were projects, after all, that were intended to leave a legacy for an event that would only take place in 2010.

In the documents that amaBhungane obtained from SAFA following a lengthy promotion of access to information fight, we could not find any mention of paying $10-million to CONCACAF as part of the African Diaspora Legacy Programme.

Eddy Maloka, who headed the African Legacy Programme until late 2007, told amaBhungane that their budget and work never included $10-million and its payment to CONCACAF. His successor, Itumeleng Dlamini, told us it was a long time ago and she doesn’t remember.

The official budget, presented to FIFA in January 2007, included a much more modest R20-million for the entire African diaspora, and was scheduled to be paid out over the course of four years.

Instead, the $10-million that was rushed through to CONCACAF in early 2008 would dwarf the entire Legacy programme.

Loading the Local Organising Committee

What emerges from the documentation is the SA government’s strange reluctance to be directly associated with the payment to CONCACAF: strange if one assumes it was a generous expression of solidarity with the Caribbean diaspora and not a bribe.

On 10 December 2007 (three days after Valcke’s midnight email to Moleketi) Jordaan wrote to Valcke saying that the government had undertaken to pay the $10-million towards the “2010 FIFA World Cup Diaspora Legacy Programme”.

He added that Moleketi recommended that the money be paid to FIFA but the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, suggested that the money be paid to the LOC.

Dlamini-Zuma did not respond to questions amaBhungane sent to verify Jordaan’s claim.

This version chimes with that provided in the 2015 indictment drawn up when former CONCACAF general secretary Chuck Blazer was still alive.

Blazer was cited as Warner’s co-conspirator (and was allegedly paid a $750 000 cut of the $10-million) but began working undercover for the FBI in December 2011 and became a cooperating witness.

He died of cancer in 2017.

The 2015 indictment alleges, “In the months and years after the vote, Co-Conspirator #1 [Blazer] periodically asked Warner about the status of the $10 million payment. At one point [Blazer] learned that the South Africans were unable to arrange for the payment to be made directly from government funds. Arrangements were thereafter made with FIFA officials to instead have the $10 million sent from FIFA – using funds that would otherwise have gone from FIFA to South Africa to support the World Cup.”

Jordaan’s 10 December 2007 letter seemingly attempts to regularise this arrangement.

He wrote to Valcke, “In view of this determination [by Dlamini-Zuma] I want to suggest that FIFA deducts this amount (US$10.0m) from the LOC’s future operational budget and deals directly with the Diaspora legacy support programme. I further suggest that an agreement be drawn up between all the parties to formalise the matter.”

We put it to Jordaan that no such agreement was ever drawn up.

Indeed, up until Jordaan’s 10 December 2007 letter, the assumption was that the South African government would fund the $10-million payment, not the LOC.

According to the indictment, Valcke delivered the first payment of $616 000 from FIFA’s account to CONCACAF on 2 January 2008.

That payment was done without any authorisation from the LOC.

Knowing that Jordaan’s suggestion did not hold any power to authorise such a financial commitment without the approval of the LOC board, Valcke wrote to Jordaan on 28 January 2008.

In the letter Valcke tells Jordaan that he and the chairman of the LOC, Irvin Khoza, must send him a signed confirmation that FIFA must deduct the $10-million from the LOC’s $423-million operational budget, that these funds will be administered “directly” by Warner and that SAFA is aware of the plan.

Valcke ends by mentioning that FIFA have already received two funding requests from Warner, $616 000 for an Under-16 tournament and $1.6-million for renovations of a sports centre.

There was no mention that Valcke had already processed the $616 000 payment.

Three days later, Valcke proceeded to make the second payment of $1.6-million – also without proper authorisation from the LOC.

“It took more time than expected to get this letter [of authorisation] signed by SAFA but after many requests from Kattner and myself they finally signed it and all was then in order fulfilling all compliance within FIFA statutes,” Valcke told amaBhungane when asked why he approved these two payments without rightful authorisation.

“And if you want to know why it took time ask Danny Jordaan or the president of SAFA at that time [Molefi Oliphant]. Case is closed and over after many years of investigation.”

Two days before Valcke authorised the $1.6-million payment, Jordaan wrote to him apologising for the delays in getting the needed authorisation.

“I have conveyed your proposal of an emergency call between [LOC] board members to the Chairman of the Board. He, however, stressed that the decision needed to be taken in a properly constituted and recorded meeting,” Jordaan wrote.

Jordaan vs Oliphant

Most of the SAFA top brass were in Ghana at the time for the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon), so getting their approval would have been difficult. Jordaan conveyed this to Valcke. “I accept that this delay is causing considerable pressure and frustration but please be assured that I am trying to expedite this urgent matter,” wrote Jordaan.

By late-February, an obscure document was presented to a skeleton exco of the LOC, comprising Jordaan, Khoza, Moleketi and the then minister of sport Makhenkesi Stofile.

The document is on a plain page with no letterhead, but crucially made two recommendations: (1) that the LOC approach government for an additional R70-million in funding, and (2) that exco recommends that the board greenlights “a contribution of 10.0 million US$ to be deducted from [the LOC’s] approved budget for the purpose of supporting legacy programmes in the Diaspora under FIFA’s management and control”.

According to the minutes of the 22 February 2008 meeting, both ministers “confirmed that the financing proposal appeared reasonable and it would be in order for the SA Government to confirm its commitment in writing”.

This never happened, but with Valcke breathing down his neck, Jordaan still needed something in writing.

When the SAFA top brass returned from the Afcon, Jordaan allegedly asked Oliphant, the SAFA president, to sign a letter authorising FIFA to deduct the $10-million from the LOC’s operational budget.

The letter appeared to base its approval on “the decision by the South African Government that an amount of US$ 10 million be paid to the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa” – in other words on assurances the government would make good the shortfall.

“I signed it because it was given to me by the person I have worked with for more than two decades. It is all about disclosure,” Oliphant told City Press, adding he was “shocked, disappointed…and felt betrayed” when he learned Jordaan had tried to approve the payment with a near identical letter months earlier.

Three days after he received Oliphant’s letter, Valcke approved the payment of the remaining $7 784 000.

Since the instruction from Oliphant was that the $10-million should be deducted from the LOC’s operational budget, the board of the LOC still needed to approve the payment which meant even by then Valcke hadn’t received proper authorisation to process the payment of the $10-million.

The authorisation from the LOC never came. Moleketi confirmed to us that these funds never came from the LOC budget. 

A shift from tapping the LOC budget to siphoning SAFAs coffers

Jordaan’s exchange with Valcke shows he worked hard to get the LOC board to approve the $10-million payment – but this never happened, notwithstanding the letter that Oliphant signed.

Instead, on 12 January 2009, FIFA Deputy Secretary General Kattner delivered a letter personally to Jordaan informing him that FIFA would deduct $10-million from match ticketing revenue due to SAFA from FIFA, not from the LOC budget.

This was problematic because SAFA and the LOC were financially and legally separate entities.

A share of ticketing revenue was part of the benefit SAFA was promised from FIFA in terms of the contractual arrangements.

This meant that money that should have gone to developing the game, ended up instead allegedly financing Warner’s lifestyle and corrupt conduct.

Without blinking, Jordaan said yes, and the football association he was a deployee of became $10-million poorer.

SAFA confirmed that the funds came from their share of World Cup proceeds and not the LOC operational budget as initially agreed.

We asked Jordaan to provide any documents that might show that he consulted with SAFA and its NEC and obtained its consent prior to accepting Kattner’s proposal. As indicated, he declined to comment in toto.

FIFA did not respond to questions amaBhungane sent on why the $10-million was not deducted from the LOC’s operational budget as agreed, but instead taken from the portion of funds meant for SAFA.

“…FIFA is confident that the Local Organising Committee and SAFA received all the funds to which they were entitled,” wrote FIFA’s general secretary, Fatma Samoura, in a dismissive response to SAFA’s inquiry on FIFA’s deviation from the original plan.

Former SAFA vice president Lucas Nhlapo told amaBhungane that neither Jordaan nor Oliphant had the power to authorise the payment.

“There was no response when we asked why a letter signed by Oliphant was sent when there was no decision by the NEC on the matter because signing on such an issue needs the whole NEC,” Nhlapo said.

“It’s a fraudulent transaction because the financial delegations of SAFA doesn’t allow… It was never discussed in the NEC.”

According to Nhlapo, the NEC never questioned why such a large sum was paid from monies owed to the association without proper authorisation.

The association only squarely attempted to recover the funds from government after the 2015 indictment that alleged that the payment was a bribe.

These efforts were rebuffed.

SAFA and Jordaan also showed an inexplicable lack of interest in what became of the $10-million payment and the projects it had supposedly funded. A look at the CONCACAF financials would have shown them that the money never reached its intended targets.

Americas theory on the $10-million payment

Mumble, the former SAFA chief executive, has surfaced an interesting theory which the US authorities floated to explain Jordaan and Valcke’s determination to get the $10-million paid.

In 2020 Mumble delivered a 71-page report to the SAFA NEC titled Governance Challenges at SAFA, which SAFA branded an attempt to destabilise the association, after it also leaked to the media.

Amid detailed criticisms of Jordaan’s management and governance at SAFA, Mumble revealed that Jordaan arranged a trip to the US in April of 2017 to engage with the US District Attorney for the Southern District of New York “to ascertain the status of the proceedings following the 2015 indictment”.

Mumble says the delegation comprised himself, Jordaan, Warrick Radford of law firm Nortons, together with senior counsels Gilbert Marcus and Norman Arendse.

Arendse was a SAFA NEC member and had previously served as the convenor of the SAFA task team that coordinated the association’s co-operation with FIFA’s investigation into the $10-million matter after the allegations broke in 2015.

Mumble, who unlike the lawyers is not bound by client confidentiality, was not in the room where Jordaan was questioned for three days, but he says after each session there would be debriefings and strategising for the next day.

That is where he claims “we learned that the US District Attorney appeared convinced that South Africa did not bribe its way to win the 2010 FIFA World Cup hosting rights. Instead, their line of questioning revolved around Dr Jordaan’s role as an intermediary between the former FIFA secretary general, Jerome Valcke, and former FIFA vice-president, Jack Warner.”

Mumble continues, “In terms of their theory, Mr Valcke needed the support of Mr Warner in his bid for the FIFA presidency.”

Valcke’s ambitions in that regard were well known, though they never materialised.

Mumble says they were informed during the debriefing sessions that the US authorities had apparently tracked Jordaan’s movements and formed the view that he served as an intermediary between Valcke and Warner to lobby for votes which were crucial to any FIFA presidential race – and that they believed the $10-million payment was part of that process.

To be clear, the US DoJ does not appear to have abandoned its theory that the $10-million was a bribe to secure the 2010 hosting rights, as Mumble claimed. A new indictment issued in 2020 includes the original bribery allegations.

We can only speculate but the DoJ may see both as possibilities: that the $10-million was promised to secure the hosting rights, but that prizing the money out of the hands of the recalcitrant South African officials was part of a quid pro quo between Valcke and Warner, with Jordaan doing the dirty work.

We invited Jordaan to respond to these theories – and also to the suggestion the payment was indeed a covert bribe from the SA government that allowed it plausible deniability when it was uncovered.

We put it to him: “You were left holding the baby, but you kept your mouth shut and allowed the government to escape responsibility.”

As noted, Jordaan declined any comment.

We also put this theory to Valcke in detailed questions, he did not directly answer but sent a blanket statement on the $10-million matter being finalised.

Fallout

The New York trip also led to significant fallout.

Mumble says in his report that SAFA Vice-Presidents Lucas Nhlapo and Elvis Shishana asked to be briefed on the outcomes of the trip.

“On my arrival… Dr Jordaan was in the process of briefing the two Vice-Presidents and asked me to continue with the briefing whilst he met with Mr Jamal Malindi, the former Tanzanian FA President…

“They were thoroughly shocked by my report, immediately expressing their dissatisfaction with being misled by him. Apparently, Dr Jordaan gave them a completely different version of the trip, stating that it was to negotiate a cooperation agreement with the US Soccer Football Association.

Nhlapo and Shishana confirmed this version to amaBhungane.

Mumble said Nhlapo, in particular, was incensed because he had succeeded Arendse as the Convenor of the Task Team overseeing SAFA’s internal inquiry into the $10-million issue.

Mumble wrote, “Dr Jordaan never reported to a SAFA structure on the visit to New York and directed that no further reports should be submitted to anyone – including the SAFA Council.”

Nhlapo claims that when he and Shishana started asking questions about the US trip, a plan was hatched to get rid of the two deputies. The 2018 SAFA Congress was brought forward, and that’s where Nhlapo and Shishana lost their positions.

Attempts to recover the $10-million

Two months after Jordaan’s US trip, the association started trying to recoup the $10-million.

Mumble wrote to Thulas Nxesi, the then minister of Sport and Recreation, and the department’s director general Alec Moemi, on 1 June 2017 asking for government to pay back the funds.

In the letter SAFA says that there was an agreement between it and the government that the $10-million that was deducted from SAFA’s coffers would be repaid by government.

Mumble also attached the minutes of the meeting held on 22 February 2008, where a resolution to pay the $10-million appears to be confirmed by the obscure document we mentioned earlier, supposedly with concurrence of ministers Stofile and Moleketi.

This attempt at trying to recoup the money failed, with Moemi informing SAFA that government had no documentation that proved their commitment to pay the funds.

Three days after SAFA wrote the letter, Nxesi told parliament that the association “does not intend to recover this money as it was paid for a legitimate purpose and there is no verdict of wrongdoing on the part of CONCACAF”.

This did not stop the association from presenting its claim as potentially enforceable.

SAFA mentioned their plans to recover this money in their financials of 2018 and 2019, both years in which SAFA’s liabilities outweighed their assets.

It appears government tried to propose a deal in which it would not admit liability.

Former SAFA acting CEO Gay Mokoena said government indicated it would be prepared to consider assisting a football programme to a similar amount. He told us, “Danny was not interested… He wanted a refund of the $10-million… I got the impression that he is trying to prove a point that the $10-million has been recovered.”

If Jordaan was under the impression he could force the government finally to take responsibility for the payment, he was mistaken.

Jordaan has similarly resisted an accounting, whether to amaBhungane or anyone else.

To date the NEC has never asked him to account for the US trip, or for an explanation of how SAFA ended up footing the original $10-million payment.

SAFA recorded a R2.6-million loss in their 2022 financials.

The $10-million would come in handy for the association that is struggling to pay their service providers and regions on time and cannot afford to hire junior national team coaches on a permanent basis.

But for them to benefit from the restitutions, they would have to explain how the people it trusted to conduct their affairs betrayed the association for selfish gains.

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