FIFA has openly accused South Africa of paying a $10 million bribe to secure votes for the 2010 World Cup.
World football’s governing body on Wednesday announced that they were planning to reclaim “tens of millions of dollars” taken illegally by both FIFA members and other football organisations.
Allegations of corruption threw the organisation into disarray in May 2015 and the scandal has already claimed the heads of several high-ranking officials.
FIFA, though, has for the first time acknowledged that bribes were paid in voting contests for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Officials from South Africa have strongly denied the claims, but FIFA has backed suspicions raised by US investigators and are now suing several executive committee members – including Jack Warner of Trinidad and Tobago, Charles Blazer of the United States and Jeffrey Webb from the Cayman Islands – for “selling their votes on multiple occasions”.
The report adds that Warner’s son, Daryan Warner, and other unidentified suspects “engineered a $10 million payoff in exchange for executive committee votes regarding where the 2010 FIFA World Cup would be hosted”.
New FIFA president Gianni Infantino says the accused “abused positions of trust”.
He added: “They caused serious and lasting damage to FIFA, its member associations and the football community.
“The monies they pocketed belonged to global football and were meant for the development and promotion of the game.
“Fifa as the world governing body of football wants that money back and we are determined to get it no matter how long it takes.”
According to The Associated Press, FIFA have asked for:
* $28.2m for years of payments, including bonuses, flights and daily expenses, to officials it now says are corrupt.
* $10m for the “theft” of money that FIFA officials transferred as bribes to then-executive committee members to vote for South Africa as 2010 World Cup host – “substantial” cost of legal bills since separate US and Swiss federal probes of corruption in international soccer were revealed last May.
* damages for harm to its reputation, plus other bribes and kickbacks for media rights to non-FIFA competitions but “which were made possible because of the value of the FIFA brand”.