Johannesburg - South African soccer head Danny Jordaan has been cleared in
an ethics check to stand for election to the FIFA Council three years after he
was linked to alleged bribery.
The Confederation of African Football said in an internal
memo seen by The Associated Press on Thursday that Jordaan was one of five
African officials who passed integrity checks ahead of the election at a
special CAF meeting in Egypt on September 30.
African member countries will vote for a new representative
on the FIFA Council after Kwesi Nyantakyi of Ghana resigned while facing
allegations of corruption after being filmed taking $65 000 in cash from a
reporter posing as a businessman in an undercover documentary.
CAF listed Jordaan, Elvis Chetty of Seychelles, Leodegar
Tenga of Tanzania, Nick Mwendwa of Kenya and Walter Nyamilandu of Malawi as all
being cleared as candidates to replace Nyantakyi, who resigned as a member of
the FIFA Council, as a vice president of CAF and as head of the Ghana soccer
Jordaan was the head of the organizing committee when South
Africa successfully hosted the 2010 World Cup. But he has since been accused of
involvement in an alleged $10 million payment to corrupt former FIFA executives
to get them to vote for South Africa to host the tournament.
That payment was alleged in the US Department of Justice's
2015 indictment, which revealed widespread corruption and bribery at FIFA and
ultimately brought down many of world soccer's most powerful figures.
South Africa has denied the payment was a bribe and
described it as a soccer legacy payment meant to support the African diaspora
in Warner's Caribbean region.
But the Dept. of Justice characterized it as a bribe and
even FIFA, in 2016 court documents aimed at claiming back millions of dollars
lost to corruption, rejected South Africa's explanation and said of the
payment: "in reality it was a bribe."
Jordaan was linked to the $10 million when a 2007 letter he
wrote to then-FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke was made public in the midst
of the 2015 FIFA corruption scandal.
In the letter, Jordaan, then the chief executive of the 2010
World Cup organising committee, suggests that Valcke deducts the $10 million
from the South African organizational budget and sends it to the "legacy
program" in the Caribbean.
The money was then sent to Warner.
It's alleged the money was payback for Warner and two other
FIFA executives voting for South Africa three years earlier.
Jordaan, now the president of the South African Football
Association, was widely praised for his work organising Africa's first World
Cup but his reputation has been diminished by the bribery allegations.
Also, he has been accused by a South African singer of
raping her 25 years ago, in 1993. The singer, Jennifer Ferguson, opened a case
with police in South Africa but Jordaan has not been charged.
He denies both accusations of corruption and rape.
Jordaan and Tenga are the candidates for the FIFA Council
seat with the most experience and are both members of the CAF executive
committee. The other three are relative newcomers to African soccer administration.