THE DEPUTY of Fifa president Sepp Blatter allegedly paid £6.5 million in bribes to a football official who was arrested last week.
Jerome Valcke, the secretary general of Fifa, reportedly ordered the money to be wired into accounts controlled by former vice-president Jack Warner.
Warner was arrested on bribery charges last week when police issued an arrest warrant at the request of US authorities.
Now US prosecutors allege that South African government bribed him – and other leading football officials – to secure votes for the country to host the 2010 World Cup.
But Valcke intervened when the government was unable to pay the money to Warner directly, the prosecutors claim.
The £6.5 million payment was allegedly made in three wire transfers between January and March 2008 – four years after South Africa won the World Cup bid.
He denied the claims and has not been charged.
However, he will not attend the opening of the Women’s World Cup in Canada next week, according to Fifa.
A spokesman said: “It is important that he attends to matters at Fifa’s headquarters in Zurich.”
This weekend Danny Jordaan, the chief executive of South Africa’s World Cup, said that the payment was legitimate.
He said: “How could we have paid a bribe for votes four years after we had won the bid?”