FIFA denies general secretary Jerome Valcke is reponsible for alleged bribe
By Lyall Thomas
Last Updated: 02/06/15 9:52am
FIFA has denied reports that their secretary general is the unidentified 'high-ranking official' who transferred an alleged bribe to Jack Warner, and has instead blamed their former finance chief - the now deceased Julio Grondona.
Football’s world governing body, currently in the midst of its biggest crisis, has told Sky Sports News HQ that Grondona, then chairman of the FIFA Finance Committee, authorised payments totalling $10million that were indicted by US authorities last week.
The indictment, which led to the arrests of nine current and five former FIFA executives, alleges that the money was wired to Warner to help South Africa secure the 2010 World Cup and a New York Times’ report on Tuesday claimed FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke was responsible, which the Frenchman has denied.
And in a statement issued to Sky Sports News HQ, FIFA said: "The payments totalling $10m were authorised by the then chairman of the Finance Committee and executed in accordance with the Organisation Regulations of FIFA.
"FIFA did not incur any costs as a result of South Africa’s request because the funds belonged to the Local Organising Committee. Both the LOC and South African FA adhered to the necessary formalities for the budgetary amendment.
“Neither the secretary general Jerome Valcke nor any other member of FIFA’s senior management were involved in the initiation, approval and implementation of the above project."
Valcke is not named as a defendant nor accused of any wrongdoing in the indictment issued by US authorities, which has also led to further arrests this week. Nicolas Leoz - the former president of the South American Football Confederation - has been placed under house arrest in Paraguay.
Meanwhile Ricardo Teixeira - the former president of the Brazilian Football Confederation - is now being investigated by prosecutors over allegations of money-laundering and fraud.
The original US indictment stated: "In 2008, a high-ranking FIFA official caused payments totalling $10 million to be wired from a FIFA account in Switzerland to a Bank of America correspondent account in New York, for credit to accounts held in the names of CFU and CONCACAF, but controlled by the defendant Jack Warner."
It has also been reported that Valcke will no longer be attending the opening of the Women's World Cup in Canada, as originally planned, because of the ongoing crisis.