FIFA email connects Sepp Blatter to $10M, newspaper claims

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — A newspaper claims it has a 2007 email that shows FIFA President Sepp Blatter and then-South African President Thabo Mbeki held “discussions” over a $10 million payment to allegedly corrupt soccer executives.

South Africa’s Sunday Times reports that the email from FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke to the South African government asks when the $10 million will be transferred.

The newspaper says that in the email, which was not published, Valcke writes that the $10 million is “based on discussions between FIFA and the South African government, and also between our President (Blatter) and President Thabo Mbeki.”

American investigators allege that the $10 million was payback for three senior FIFA executives voting for South Africa to host the 2010 World Cup.

FIFA and the South African government say it was money meant for legitimate soccer development.