PRETORIA: Kirsten Nematandani, president of the troubled South African Football Association, is facing a double challenge at the annual conference in September – and there could be more.
Vice-presidents Chief Mwelo Nonkonyana and Mandla Mazibuko are expected to try to prevent Nematandani securing a second term in office after a troubled reign. But Irvin Khoza and Danny Jordaan are hovering in the background.
Asked about his re-election task, Nematandani said: “People have ambitions in life.” He insisted that his four years in charge had seen greater progress and achievement than by SAFA under predecessor Molefi Oliphant.
He added: “In the past four years, this organisation has never been so busy with so many activities. My time was characterised by hosting major events and that indicates that there was a lot of excitement.
“It meant we had to put all our energy there to make sure everything goes according to plan.”
Nematandani was suspended briefly by his own federation last year during inquiries into matchfixing atSouth Africa’s friendly matches immediately before the World Cup finals three years ago. The ban was lifted just in time for him to play organising host at the finals of the African Nations Cup.
The past year has also seen increasing controversy over the use – or misuse – of World Cup-generated development funds.
Also linked with bids for the presidency are Khoza, who is chairman of both the Premier Soccer League and Orlando Pirates, as well as Jordaan who was 2010 World Cup organising ceo inSouth Africa.
Khoza would have to step down from his Pirates role if he won SAFA command; Jordaan’s status has just been raised by his appointment to an undefined advisory role to CAF president Issa Hayatou.