PRETORIA: FIFA presidency contender Tokyo Sexwale would place, if elected, a vast amount of trust and power in the new secretary-general writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

Finance chief Markus Kattner is serving on an interim basis following the suspension earlier this autumn of Jerome Valcke after allegations of misconduct in office.

One of the major campaign hurdles for Sexwale has been a perception that his various business and campaigning interests would prevent him devoting a full-time commitment to the massive task of rescuing the world football federation.

Hence his readiness to entrust a significant amount of power and trust in the hands of the new secretary-general.

Sexwale said: “f you look at the reforms that have come, the president of FIFA, in charge of the council, must have a very strong administration in the form of a secretary-general/ceo. That’s the person who runs things. So from time to time you have to be there at the HQ to make sure things happen but however if it means I should move yes I will move.

“I have always stayed away from South Africa. I was in jail for 13 years. I lived in the Soviet Union, I’ve lived in Tanzania, Mozambique so it is not rocket science for me, but I believe there’ll be a time when I spend quality time in Zurich and also be at home from time to time. But being in South Africa doesn’t mean you are not doing FIFA work.”

Legal consequences

Sexwale, one of his candidates to succeed Sepp Blatter in the election next February 26, was setting out his position in an interview with the BBC Hardtalk programme.

He also insisted that if any of his ‘friends’ in FIFA had broken the rules then they must be prepared to accept the legal and disciplinary consequences.

He said: “I don’t run away from people I know. So I’m not just close to Mr Blatter and all of them like Mr [Michel] Platini. These were friends, these are friends, however if any of them have been less than candid with the truth the law will and must take its own course.

“These are friends, I repeat, these are colleagues, we’ve been with them in World Cups and all sorts of places. However, if any of them while being friends were doing things the law must take its own course.”

Sexwale, who made a less-than-impressive start to his campaign, set out the issues on which he would hope to attract votes from the 209 national associations.

He said: “We are prepared, if I’m elected, to make sure that on the basis of international best practice, transparency, good democracy, openness, financial accountability those are the things that have caused – the lack of them – that have caused the problem right now, so we are prepared to clean up.”

Sexwale has always stood four-square behind the need for FIFA to be transparent on salary disclosure.

He saidL “It not just about disclosing my salary at FIFA, all salaries must be disclosed. I’ve operated in companies, in banks, financial institutions listed on various stock exchanges, London, New York, Johannesburg.

“These things are just a matter of international best practice not just my salary but the salary of everybody must be known.”