First COSAFA, then FIFA
Danny Jordaan believes he can make it to the very top
It will be a long road, but Danny Jordaan is taking tentative steps on the journey to the powerful FIFA executive committee.
Jordaan, a veteran football administrator and South Africa Football Association vice president, has been nominated by SAFA for the presidential position at the COSAFA regional bloc’s election.
After failing to secure a seat on the FIFA executive through the CAF elections nine months ago, Jordaan looks to be starting from scratch as he aims to challenge incumbent president Suketu Patel of the Seychelles for the top Cosafa position.
SAFA president Kirsten Nematandani said the football association were leaving no stone unturned in their lobbying leading up to the elections, to ensure Jordaan garners sufficient votes.
“Behind-the-scenes talk is that Patel is being advised against standing for re-election to allow for new leadership in COSAFA,” claimed an insider.
“Jordaan has been doing good work on his campaign, which is quite promising.”
Experts reckon COSAFA will be a place to start for Jordaan, who served as 2010 FIFA World Cup Organizing committee CEO.
Jordaan’s star has risen immensely since the country successfully hosted the World Cup, but the respected football administrator is yet to extend his domestic power into the continent.
“SAFA wants to play a bigger role in COSAFA and that is the strategy decision we are taking as the association in nominating Danny Jordaan,” said Nematandani.
“We continue to talk to fellow COSAFA associations as we lobby for their support ahead of the elections and are quite confident of success.”
COSAFA is the second largest CAF region after West Africa Football Union (WAFU), yet teams from the Southern hemisphere have rarely qualified for the FIFA World Cup.
Jordaan says: “The vision I had before the CAF assembly is still the same and I’d want to work hard to try and secure more corporate partnership for football in the region.
“I’ve just felt that the starting point should be COSAFA,” Jordaan was quoted as saying in Zimbabwe. “When I was in Sudan, I saw where the problem was and it was in the associations not being united.
“We have to be stronger as a region and we have to overcome our challenges.
“Nothing is impossible … even when we fought apartheid some people thought it was impossible to win over it but here we are.” – Sunday World