ZURICH – FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke was not involved in the $10 million payment mentioned in the U.S. corruption probe rocking soccer’s governing body, FIFA said Tuesday.
FIFA said the payment was approved in 2007 by Julio Grondona, the former chairman of the finance committee who died last year.
The FIFA statement follows a New York Times report that American law enforcement officials believe Valcke transferred the money in 2008 to accounts controlled by Jack Warner, the former CONCACAF president and FIFA vice-president who faces corruption charges in the U.S. The report cited unidentified law enforcement officials.
But FIFA described the payment as part of the South African government’s “project to support the African diaspora in Caribbean countries as part of the World Cup legacy.”
The U.S. Department of Justice says the money was used by South Africa to pay off Warner and two other former FIFA executive committee members for backing South Africa in a 2004 vote that awarded the country the 2010 World Cup.
FIFA said neither Valcke “nor any other member of FIFA’s senior management were involved in the initiation, approval and implementation” of the project.