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South African Minister Fikile Mbalula Denied Allegations That South Africa Bribed FIFA Officials with $10 Million to Secure World Cup

Minister-of-Sport-Fikile-MbalulaSouth African Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula on Thursday vehemently denied allegations that South Africa bribed FIFA officials with $10 million to secure soccer’s World Cup in 2010, and accused the United States of going “beyond its borders” by indicting 14 people, including FIFA officials, on corruption charges.

Meanwhile, one of the top South African officials involved in the bid, Danny Jordan, head of the South African Football Assn., was on Thursday sworn in as mayor of the coastal town of Port Elizabeth. He made no comment about the allegations of corruption.

The decision to award the World Cup to South Africa was one of the nation’s recent defining moments — and when it won the right to host the event in 2004, many attributed the move to the personal charm of its first black president, Nelson Mandela, who pressed for South Africa to be given the opportunity. It was the first time the World Cup was held in Africa, uniting the continent in pride.

But U.S. Atty. Gen. Loretta Lynch told a news conference Wednesday that the process was tainted by corruption.


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