FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke has insisted he was not responsible for a $10million payment made by the South African government to CONCACAF during the 2010 World Cup bidding process.
Authorities in the United States have alleged that the funds were paid as bribe to secure the right to host the tournament.
The claim forms part of a wider operation that saw 14 people, including nine past and present FIFA officials, indicted for racketeering conspiracy and corruption and was followed by the resignation of president Sepp Blatter.
A report in the New York Times stated that Valcke was responsible for transferring the monies to CONCACAF, then led by former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner, who was one of the nine officials implicated in the corruption scandal.
The South African government has denied that the payment, which is claimed to have been for a project to “support the African diaspora in Caribbean countries as part of the World Cup legacy”, was a bribe.
FIFA released a statement last Tuesday insisting Valcke was not involved.
And, speaking at a press conference in Russia – the venue for the 2018 World Cup – Valcke said: “It was not FIFA’s money, it was request from the official South African authorities and South African FA, and as long as it was in line with rules, we do it.
“You’ve decided that after Blatter I’m the head to be cut? Fine. But I’m not responsible.”