The South African Football Association (Safa) released the following statement where they also threatened to sue any media houses or journalists who may be complicit in advancing what they called a 'smear campaign' against president Danny Jordaan and the association:
It has come to the attention of SAFA, that its former CEO, Leslie Sedibe – currently serving a ban by FIFA for his alleged role in match-fixing - may have laid a complaint with the South African Police Services. SAFA was earlier this afternoon sent a copy of an unsigned statement attributed to Leslie Sedibe - via a journalist from the City Press Newspaper.
SAFA wishes to state that Leslie Sedibe has no valid interest in this matter and in any event, was the CEO during the time of 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Leslie has also since been banned by FIFA for his alleged involvement with the alleged fixing of matches involving South Africa, leading up to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
From this unsigned complaint seen by SAFA, Leslie Sedibe’s actions appear to be nothing but vindictive, malicious and above all wrongful, as it appears he is trying to gain retribution for FIFA’s action against him by defaming the SAFA leadership and the organisation as a whole.
In these circumstances, Dr Jordaan, whose name is being besmirched by this concerted smear campaign, will seek to take the necessary legal action against Leslie Sedibe, if it is found that the currently unsigned complaint in SAFA’s possession is deemed to be authorised by him.
It has also become known that Leslie Sedibe has been meeting with former disgruntled SAFA NEC members to pursue this smear campaign, aimed to discredit Dr Jordaan and SAFA as a whole.
We also understand certain newspapers and journalists may be complicit in advancing this smear campaign and to this extent, the necessary legal action will be taken against those journalists and newspapers concerned. Furthermore, this immoral journalistic conduct will be reported to the Press Council and the Press Ombud, as the case may be.
In any event, SAFA once again places the following on the record (which is already in the public domain):
- This alleged complaint is part of an ongoing smear campaign against SAFA and its leadership, and it is common cause that Leslie Sedibe is not acting alone;
- This complaint matter was the subject of a thorough investigation by FIFA;
- The South African Government made numerous Press statements on the matter and requested SAFA or anyone from SAFA not to comment;
- The FIFA led investigation determined that the LOC of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, did not authorize nor pay any money from its budget of 423 million USD;
- This budget was never reduced by the LOC and or FIFA, and its common cause too, that the finances of the LOC were controlled by EY, who also confirmed that no monies were deducted from the FIFA approved budget of 423 million USD and as such, no loans were necessary from any 3rdparty to reinforce the FIFA approved budget;
- Following the FIFA led investigation, FIFA further issued a statement on 20 March 2016, placing many documents in the public domain (which documents were made available to the media and on SAFAs website – and are still available to the media and the public).
- FIFA has since closed their investigation;
- Dr Jordaan, SAFA and any other South African stakeholder was cleared by FIFA and any other law agency around the world from any alleged wrongdoing in this matter
- Dr Jordaan recently stood for a position on the FIFA Council, and in order to have done that, was exposed to the vigorous FIFA Integrity checks required to declare him eligible to stand for such elections. Both FIFA and its Integrity Committee declared Dr Jordaan eligible to stand for election.
SAFA and Dr Jordaan reserve their rights in this matter and will take the necessary appropriate action in law to protect their good names.
SAFA, therefore, calls on the media houses who will be publishing articles that intend to wrongfully besmirch Dr Jordaan and/or SAFA’s good name, to also publish this release in full alongside such article in order to provide the facts.