Football’s world governing body faced fresh pressure on Saturday, after media reports the highest levels of South Africa’s government approved a USD 10 million payment that US investigators suspect was a bribe to get the 2010 World Cup.
Then president Thabo Mbeki and foreign minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma approved the payment, the reports said, which the authorities again insisted on Friday was for a legitimate development project in the Caribbean.
The new revelations came as FIFA remained in the eye of a corruption storm that has seen seven executives arrested, its president Sepp Blatter announce his resignation and former executive committee member Chuck Blazer admit to paying bribes.
On Friday, the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) published details of a five-million euro loan it received from FIFA in return for dropping a legal case, rocking the game two days ahead of a long-awaited friendly with England on home soil.
England’s Football Association chairman Greg Dyke predicted the scandal engulfing FIFA will see the arrest of 79-year-old Blatter, who has pledged to begin reforming the body before standing aside after a new election sometime between December and March 2016.
Blatter, once considered the most powerful man in sport, will not attend an International Olympic Committee meeting in Lausanne next week.
"The one thing you discover if you run an organisation is that the moment you say you’re going, you’ve gone. He’s dead It’s over," Dyke told British newspaper The Guardian.