Opinionista James Grant 5 June 2015

Explainer: Law and logic – follow the (damning) money trail

Aside from Chuck Blazer saying that South Africa did pay bribes, it seems the money trail itself is rather damning. It's necessary though to have one's logic straight to follow the trail.

Arising out of Molefi Oliphant’s letter to Fifa, it seems that:

Firstly, the South African government was to pay the Safa local organising committee $10 million;

Secondly, Safa required Fifa to pay the $10 million to the African Diaspora project/Jack Warner (the deflection); and

Thirdly, Jack Warner was to have, and apparently did have, complete control of the money.

The deflection does not mean South Africa did not pay the $10 million to the African Diaspora project/Jack Warner.

If Peter is owed money by John, but Peter tells John to keep it, then, in effect, Peter has paid John the money. This is because after Peter tells John to keep the money, John is richer by the value of the money involved. Thus, by Safa instructing Fifa to keep money owed to it, Safa paid Fifa.

Further down the chain, if Abe owes Bob money, but Bob tells Abe to pay the money owed to him to Charles, then Bob pays Charles. More simply, imagine you owe your friend money. Your friend has bought a new car, and needs the money to pay for the new car. He tells you to pay the money you owe him to the car dealer. Once you pay on behalf of your friend, your friend will have paid the dealer. Thus, if Safa told Fifa to pay money it was owed over to the Africa Diaspora project, then Safa paid the African Diaspora project.

In law and in logic, when you do something through another, you have done that thing yourself. Applied to what the information seems to show so far:

The South African government paid Safa, which paid Fifa, which paid the African Diaspora Project, which paid Jack Warner. Thus the South African government paid Jack Warner.

The only remaining question is WHY. DM

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