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Former FIFA Vice President Jack Warner addresses the audience during a ceremony in celebration of Indian Arrival Day organized by his political Independent Liberal Party in Chaguanas, Trinidad and Tobago, May 29, 2015. New documents confirm the South African government directed $10-million (U.S.) to Mr. Warner after winning the rights to the 2010 World Cup.Andrea De Silva/Reuters

New documents have confirmed the explosive U.S. allegation that the South African government directed $10-million (U.S.) to bribery suspect Jack Warner, vice-president of the global soccer body FIFA, after winning the rights to the 2010 World Cup.

But nearly a week after the $10-million payment was first alleged in a U.S. indictment, even as newly leaked letters and statements confirm the transaction, the South African government still hasn't explained the unusual payment to Mr. Warner for the "Africa diaspora" in the Caribbean.

Instead the South African sports minister has issued vague denials of any wrongdoing and complained that the allegations are a plot to tarnish the country's reputation and perpetuate "negative stereotypes" about Africans. The minister, Fikile Mbalula, told South Africans that they should trust their "fellow countrymen" rather than "the Americans."

A letter in 2008 from the president of the South African Football Association, Molefi Oliphant, tells FIFA that the government has decided to create a "Diaspora Legacy Programme" and that it should receive $10-million in FIFA funds that were previously intended to support South Africa's costs in hosting the World Cup. The payment led to a $10-million reduction in FIFA's support for the World Cup's operational budget.

The letter, which was leaked to the British media on Tuesday, specifies twice that the "legacy programme" must be "administered and implemented directly" by Mr. Warner, who would be the "fiduciary" of the fund.

A South African newspaper had earlier asked Mr. Oliphant about the letter, but he refused to comment and asked how the newspaper had managed to obtain a copy of the letter.

A separate statement by FIFA on Tuesday confirmed the $10-million payment to Mr. Warner. It said the payment was approved in 2007 by the South African government "to support the African diaspora in Caribbean countries as part of the World Cup legacy."

Journalists have sought to find any record of this "Diaspora Legacy Programme" but there seems to be no mention of it in any South African government announcements in 2007 or 2008. Nor has there been any explanation of how the $10-million payment would benefit the Caribbean, where incomes are generally higher than those of most South Africans.

An interview in 2011 with former president Thabo Mbeki has now surfaced, in which Mr. Mbeki says that "funds" were "made available" for Trinidad and Tobago – the home country of Mr. Warner – "to develop soccer in the Caribbean as part of the African diaspora." He does not mention the $10-million amount or the source of the money.

According to the U.S. indictment, FIFA transferred the $10-million in three tranches to bank accounts in New York controlled by Mr. Warner in the name of the Caribbean football union and the larger regional association for North America, Latin America and the Caribbean.

The indictment says the $10-million payment had been corruptly and secretly promised by South African officials during their campaigning for the World Cup, which they were awarded in 2004. It says Mr. Warner and his associates soon pocketed much of the $10-million in 2008 by laundering it through other transactions.

Danny Jordaan, the head of South Africa's bid committees and later the head of its World Cup organizing committee, confirmed the $10-million payment in an interview with a South African newspaper on Sunday, but he insisted that it wasn't a bribe because it took place "years after" the country had won its bid in 2004.

However, the U.S. indictment says the bribe was promised by South African officials before they won the bid and the money was then paid after the decision.

The 2008 letter from South Africa authorizing the $10-million payment was addressed specifically to Jerome Valcke, the FIFA secretary general, the organization's second-in-command behind its controversial president, Joseph "Sepp" Blatter. This is the closest that the bribery scandal has come to touching Mr. Blatter directly so far.

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