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Date: 20 April 2019

  Southern African - Soccer

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Danny Jordaan to contest CAF presidency in 2011!

[Posted 26 Jul 2010]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
Dr. Danny Jordaan for CAF President!

Cape Town

The out-going Chief Executive Officer of the Local Organising Committee of the just ended FIFA 2010 World Cup hosted by South Africa Danny Jordaan is reportedly being ear-marked to contest the CAF presidential elections expected to take place in 2011.

South African Football Association deputy President Mwelo Nonkonyana has let the cat out of the bag and has declared that his association will put forward the name of the well respected and vastly experienced football administrator in Southern Africa, Jordaan, into the  hat for CAF president.

Speaking to the Sunday World in Johannesburg yesterday, Nonkonyane stated that his association wants to influence change in the way African soccer is managed, and Jordaan has been identified as the change agent which SAFA will put forward to contest Hayatou for the CAF Presidential elections.

"Change must come, but it must be a change for the better. We will nominate a person with extensive knowledge of the game, and a person who has demonstrated those qualities is Danny Jordaan."

Nonkonyane is aware that challenging Hayatou who has ruled CAF as President since 1987 will not be taken lightly by the elderly Cameroonian football administrator. Hayatou took over CAF presidency in August 1987 following the retirement from the post of Ethiopian Ydnekatchew Tessema. Anyone who challenges a leader who has not demonstrated any desire to relinguish power after 23 years of governing the continental body is sure to step on sensitive toes. The SAFA vice President tries to tread the ground with caution and interestingly states his association's desire to avoid stepping on anyone's toes.

"We have already consulted extensively in this regard. We have to know CAF's views. We don't want to antagonise people; we wish to make a difference," Nonkonyane says diplomatically.

The reality of the matter is that a man like Isaa Hayatou will not take the challenge to his throne lightly, especially given the fact that he still harbour ambitions for yet another term, even after 23 years. We all know how much acrimony has been created between the CAF president and Ghanaian football legend Abedi Pele after the latter openly campaigned for the current FIFA president Joseph Sepp Blatter during the campaigns for the FIFA elections in 2002. Hayatou did not also appear to take it well when Ishmael Bhamjee contested the CAF presidency in 2004, and again Pele campaigned for Bhamjee.

In retaliation to opposition to his leadership style and their role in gannering African support for Blatter in South Korea in 2002, Hayatou used his powers to reshuffle CAF standing committees biennially to rid CAF of the likes of Pele, Roger Milla and South African PSL Chairman Irvin Khoza. The three had played a leading role in turning African votes away from Hayatou to Blatter.

The candidature of a figure like Jordaan who is like a cult figure in South African soccer, and a darling of Southern Africa's COSAFA region, if not the entire African continent, will certainly receive support from as far afield as West Africa. There has been growing discomfort with Hayatou's style of leadership, generally viewed as being autocratic by various regions of the African continent. Hayatou is widely seen as a ruthless man, as evidenced by how he treated those who had openly campaigned against prior to to South Korea 2002.

That Hayatou is not a darling of the Southern and possibly Eastern Africa regions is not difficult to discern. However, it will be premature to assume that Jordaan is already a leading contender for wrestling the CAF presidency from Hayatou if he goes ahead with the stated plans to contest the CAF presidency. There could be other candidates who have not yet declared their interest in contesting the election. Besides, Jordaan may change his mind before 2011, just like he did with the SAFA elections, where he was a strong contender against Irvin Khoza. Both presidential candidates withdrew from the race just before the elections commenced.

The fact that Jordaan will contest the CAF elections under the mandate of SAFA might put pressure on the veteran administrator not to back-out this time around. Jordaan can easily win the support of the COSAFA region, known to be the least admirers of the current CAF President. Hayatou is accused of having voted for Morocco against South Africa when FIFA sat to choose the 2010 World Cup host. COSAFA as a block is believed to have voted against Hayatou during the FIFA presidential elections in May 2009. There is therefore no love lost between COSAFA region and Hayatou. The question that remains is whether other African regions will join COSAFA in backing Jordaan's candidature.

Influential African football icons like Pele Ayew, Kalusha Bwalya, Roger Milla and George Weah have served as ambassadors of the 2010 World Cup held in South Africa and are closer to Jordaan than they are to Hayatou. This could easily give Jordaan a measure of the support he needs to confidently challenge Hayatou in 2011.

Yet Jordaan, Southern Africa and all the supporters of his candidature must be reminded of the name Ishmael Bhamjee. The then COSAFA president appeared to enjoy overwhelming support of the soccer legends in Africa, and yet lost convincingly against Hayatou in 2004. Jordaan and his campaign team surely have an opportunity to bring change to the management of African football, but they will not get victory in a silver platter. They should campaign better than Bhamjee did in 2003 and 2004.  

Jordaan succesfully led SAFA as CEO for many years before he was seconded to the LOC of the 2010 World Cup where he did any amazing job which culminated in the awarding of the rights to South Africa to host the 2010 spectacle on African soil for the first time ever. The World Cup has been a huge success, thanks to the LOC and the leadership of the likes of Jordaan and Khoza.

Dr.Jordaan has little if not nothing to prove to the world. He is a world-class football leader and administrator whose abilities are surely crying out for a bigger stage for expression than what SAFA or even COSAFA can provide. It won't be surprising if Jordaan one day sits on the FIFA throne. Yes Jordaan can! 



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