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SA’s Sexwale questioned over FIFA scandal

FIFA has never had a president from Africa in its 111-year history and candidate Tokyo Sexwale wants to change that. PHOTO/OminSport

FIFA has never had a president from Africa in its 111-year history and candidate Tokyo Sexwale wants to change that. PHOTO/OminSport

JOHANNESBURG, December 23- FIFA presidential hopeful Tokyo Sexwale said he had appeared before a US grand jury last week as a potential witness in the probe into the 2010 World Cup corruption scandal.

US authorities are investigating claims that former CONCACAF president Jack Warner was paid a $10 million (9.1 million euros) bribe to help South Africa win the bid to host the 2010 World Cup, among other charges.

“I did visit the US Grand Jury but it’s a normal process of information gathering,” Sexwale told local media.

Sexwale was part of South Africa’s 2010 FIFA World Cup bidding team and the committee that successfully organised the event when it came to Africa for the first time.

As with other South African football officials and government ministers, Sexwale rejected suggestions that South Africa paid any bribes to secure votes to get the tournament.

“(South Africa) is clean, we had a clean 2010 World Cup,” he said.

“Other people from the world also appeared before the Grand Jury,” he added. “This is just information gathering.”

He said he had also asked the Grand Jury to investigate the 1994 World Cup hosted by the US and the 2006 one held in Germany.

Explosive accusations of corrupt wheeling and dealing at FIFA have led to US charges against 14 top football officials and sports executives, including president Sepp Blatter, who was banned for eight years on Monday, along with UEFA president Michel Platini.

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Sexwale, a millionaire businessman, who was jailed alongside Nelson Mandela under apartheid rule, is among the candidates vying to replace Blatter as president of world football’s governing body in next February’s elections.

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