What is truth?
There are a number of definitions for this. Wikipedia
tells us truth "is most often used to mean in accord with factor reality,
or fidelity to an original or to a standard or ideal" while another
explanation says "truth is what actually/really happened".
Since that famous US
indictment almost two weeks ago now cited that South Africa had paid a
$10 million to secure the rights to host the 2010 Soccer World Cup, several
letters have emerged.
First, to emerge from somewhere, was a letter written
by then South African Football Association (SAFA) president Molefi Oliphant.
The letter was flaunted as "proof" that
South Africa had indeed paid a bribe as the letter not only instructed FIFA to
release a sum of $10 million to CONCACAF
but also gave strict instructions that Jack Warner must handle the funds.
Then a few days later, another letter, written
earlier by the SA 2010 World Cup Local Organising Committee (LOC) CEO
Danny Jordaan with similar instructions, emerged.
Olifant has expressed his
disappointment with Jordaan for not disclosing the existence of his letter in
their meeting after the scandal broke, using strong words such as that he feels
"betrayed" by the incumbent SAFA president.
By the end of this past week, there were revelations
that there was yet another letter from FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke to
then Finance Minister Jabu Moleketi about the transfer of that money.
Valcke's letter alludes to
discussions between FIFA and the SA government as well as between Sepp Blatter
and President Thabo Mbeki on the same
The SA government has denied
paying a bribe and Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula has already addressed two press conferences on this issue and issued a number of statements dismissing
Surely, when you are putting together an event as big
as the World Cup, there will be a lot of
correspondence between all the parties involved?
So, do these letters prove that there was a bribe? Is
this the truth?
To me, what that American indictment has done, is lead
to a lot of finger-pointing and stirring of existing divisions in SA football that we
thought had thawed.
It has also created a situation where the South
African government, from former President Thabo Mbeki to those who served in the
2006 Bid Committee and all the members of the 2010 LOC are suspects and find the
need to defend themselves in the public
But maybe, there is something the US knows. After all
who gave us the Salt Lake Olympic Games
They now say corruption within FIFA has been going on
for over 24 years. Well then, there was a World Cup that was staged in some country in the year 1994 which my
poor maths tells me was 21 years ago...
Is that one being investigated again or is it a matter
of there is no way that Africa could have secured hosting the World Cup fairly
because out of this continent there must always be something dark coming out?
If there are people who committed a crime or crimes, let them be investigated, be
arrested and sentenced if found guilty rather than be tried in the public
I am a great believer in the notion that there are
three sides to a story: Your side, my side and the truth.
The truth shall out!
But at this stage, we are still not wiser as to what
And while all these letters were being leaked left
right and centre, Orlando Pirates were impressively marching to the group
stages of the CAF Confederation Cup and
Barcelona were making their own history by winning the treble - La Liga, Kings
Cup and the Champions League.
What a beautiful game that is marred by off the field
S’Busiso Mseleku is regarded as one of Africa's leading
sports journalists and an authority on football. He has received some of
the biggest awards in a career spanning well over 20 years. He is
currently City Press Sports Editor.
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