NEW YORK: FIFA presidential contender Tokyo Sexwale appeared before a United States grand jury to testify about an alleged $10m payment South Africa made to Jack Warner, a former vice president of global football’s governing body.

The BBC has reported that the South African appeared before the grand jury as a potential witness on December 17. A spokesman said: “The FBI said he needed to appear and he went as a potential witness.”

Prosecutors say that South Africa paid Warner $10 million as a bribe to secure the right to host the 2010 World Cup.

The South Africam Football Association has confirmed that it donated the money, but has said the payment was not a bribe as US prosecutors allege.

FIFA was thrown into turmoil in May when US prosecutors announced the indictment of 14 people, including football officials with FIFA positions and sports marketing executives, on bribery or kickback-related offences.

Earlier this month, 16 more people were charged by the US over bribery schemes for marketing and broadcasting rights, including football bosses from across South and Central America.