GABORONE: Danny Jordaan, widely hailed outside Africa for leading South Africa’s 2010 World Cup bid and then its organising authority, has been forced to accept another snub in his bid to climb football’s political ladder.
After the 2010 World Cup some observers claimed that Jordaan might become, one day, the first African president of world federation FIFA. But envy and mistrust within African football itself has blocked his every attempt to move forward.
Early this year Jordaan failed to gain election to the executive committee of the African confederation and now he has been forced to drop an attempt to Seychelles’ Suketu Patel as president of COSAFA, the politically-significant association of southern African football federations. Patel was thus enabled to continue for a second term.
Jordaan said: “People came to me saying I should not have pulled out. I had 10 people who had promised to vote for me.”
But, according to South African president Kirsten Nematandani, those promises were not all credible and the SAFA delegation – which also included ceo Robin Petersen – decided to “withdraw our candidature”.
Nematandani added: “Voting is a very private matter and while we had done our work and many promises but were they real? We felt it would be best if we pulled out in order to maintain our dignity. It was a case of gut-feel, we knew we still had to rely on people being honest and keeping their promises. But when we went in there we were not sure this was the case.”
Critics within COSAFA of Jordaan were reported to have described him as “aloof and too focused on Europe.”
Barry Rukoro, general secretary of the Namibian federation, said: “Danny threw our vote back at us a while ago when he made lots of promises to help us secure sponsorships for development projects but he never fulfilled them. We just cannot trust him. He made too many promises to too many people which he has not kept. He did well to pull out and save himself embarrassment. He would have lost 13-1 if it went to the vote.”
“Patel,” said Rukoro, “has done a good job for COSAFA. We now own the Cosafa Under-20 Championship which used to be run by SAFA and we also have the rights for the COSAFA Senior Challenge which we will be re-launching soon. The national associations are now also taking responsibility for the right to host events. We’re moving in the right direction and Patel is steering us there.”
Patel, who beat Jordaan in the CAF elections, had been on Gaborone since last week whereas Jordaan arrived only on the eve of the vote.