I gave you 2010. Now I give you Motsepe as Caf president: Danny ...

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I gave you 2010. Now I give you Motsepe as Caf president: Danny Jordaan

Safa boss reflects on his role in bringing Patrice Motsepe’s once unlikely candidacy to almost certain fruition

Marc Strydom
Patrice Motsepe and Danny Jordaan during the Dr Patrice Motsepe CAF Manifesto launch at Sandton Convention Centre on February 25 2021 in Johannesburg.
SEE THE FUTURE Patrice Motsepe and Danny Jordaan during the Dr Patrice Motsepe CAF Manifesto launch at Sandton Convention Centre on February 25 2021 in Johannesburg.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

SA Football Association (Safa) president Danny Jordaan has reflected on the two international bids he has been a part of‚ one of which was successful‚ and the second that is poised to be.

Jordaan travelled the world for seven years as the SA 2010 Fifa World Cup bid committee CEO convincing global football heads to vote for the competition to be hosted in SA.

Since Safa announced that mining magnate Patrice Motsepe would run for the Confederation of African Football (Caf) presidency‚ Caf vice-president Jordaan travelled the continent‚ and to Asia‚ with the Mamelodi Sundowns owner meeting countless Africa football association chiefs.

A deal concluded over the past two weeks with Motsepe’s rivals has seen Augustin Senghor of Senegal‚ Jacques Anouma of Ivory Coast and Mauritania’s Ahmed Yahya withdraw their candidacies in return for leadership roles under Motsepe. The SA billionaire businessman is set to be ushered in unopposed at Caf’s elective congress in Rabat‚ Morocco on Friday.

Jordaan‚ a Safa insider said‚ brokered the deal‚ bringing Motsepe and Ivory Coast’s Senghor together at the Caf executive meeting at the end of the African Nations Championship (Chan) in Cameroon in early February.

I think I have been involved in a campaign to give you a World Cup‚ and now I have been involved in a campaign to give you [SA] the president of Caf for the first time in the history of Caf‚ after 65 years.
Danny Jordaan

The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled to reduce previous Caf president Ahmad Ahmad’s ban from football‚ imposed by Fifa in November for ethics violations‚ from five to two years on Monday‚ clearing the way for Motsepe to stand unopposed.

The influential backers of Ahmad when the Madagascan unseated the 29-year reign of Issa Hayatou in 2017 — Jordaan‚ Nigerian FA head Amaju Pinnick and Cosafa president Phillip Chiyangwa — also supported Motsepe’s campaign.

Jordaan was asked if those influential figures utilised the same knowledge of the crucial behind-the-scenes manoeuvres required for a successful Caf presidency bid by Motsepe.

“I cannot comment on that. But I think I have been involved in a campaign to give you a World Cup‚ and now I have been involved in a campaign to give you [SA] the president of Caf for the first time in the history of Caf‚ after 65 years‚” Jordaan said.

“I have travelled the world‚ to more than 150 countries over the two bids. Because we started also with something that was not known — that SA has an interest to host the World Cup. And we started with something that was not known — that there is a person called Patrice Motsepe in SA who wants to be the president of Caf.”

Motsepe‚ in Caf terms‚ is a complete outsider‚ and was the least favourite to win the presidency when his candidacy was announced in November.

“They [African football heads] said: ‘Why do you bring an outsider — why don’t you stand? Because you are the vice-president of Caf‚ which is one step away from being president‚” Jordaan said.

“So I said: ‘No‚ we have to analyse what the issues of Caf are now‚ what the remedies are‚ and who the best person is to resolve those remedies’.”

I said: ‘No‚ we have to analyse what the issues of Caf are now‚ what the remedies are‚ and who the best person is to resolve those remedies’.
Danny Jordaan

Jordaan’s travels with Motsepe in the campaign included two trips to the Chan in Cameroon — one at the start in January and another at the end in February. It is believed a number of especially West African FA presidents were met.

The pair visited the Fifa Club World Cup in Qatar in February‚ where they met the Cecafa (Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations) FA presidents. They had travelled to the Caf Champions League final between Al Ahly and Zamalek in Cairo in December‚ meeting especially North African‚ and the influential Moroccan and Egyptian‚ heads.

With 13 of the 14 votes of Cosafa (Council of Southern Africa Football Associations) votes secured in a block‚ and West Africa apparently split and much of Cecafa behind Motsepe‚ the campaign was confident of surpassing the 27-vote threshold of the 54 FA heads.

Jordaan said there was a recognition of this from Senghor‚ Yahya and Anouma. This made an offer of Caf vice-presidencies for Senghor and Yahya‚ and an advisory role and executive position for Anouma‚ hard to refuse.


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