South Africa’s sports minister has refuted claims that his country paid a bribe in order to host the 2010 World Cup.
Fikile Mbalula said that South Africa won the bid “based on merit”.
FIFA yesterday for the first time revealed that South Africa paid a huge bribe in order to host the World Cup.
The world football governing body accused former vice-president Jack Warner of being one of three FIFA ex-officials, alongside Chuck Blazer and an unidentified third person, to have accepted a $10m bribe.
In a statement, Mbalula said that FIFA’s claims were wrong, saying that South Africa won the bid based on merit, and went on to stage the “most successful world cup in the history of FIFA.”
“The 2010 FIFA World Cup remains the most successful FIFA World Cup ever, and it is a travesty to label this giant achievement as questionable.
“South Africa won the rights to host the FIFA World Cup based on merit and delivered the most successful world cup in the history of FIFA.”
FIFA held its elections last month, with Gianni Infantino winning the presidency to replace long serving Sepp Blatter.