Meet the new SA soccer top brass

2010-03-28 10:45

IRVIN KHOZA:

Before the South African Football Association (Safa) elections on

September 26 last year, the saying in football was “whatever Khoza wants, Khoza

gets”.

That changed dramatically when he stormed out of that particular

meeting following an impasse on whether he and his nemesis Danny Jordaan were

eligible to be elected as Safa president.

His tantrum – which he threw ­after Jordaan had pulled out of the

race –- paved the way for Kirsten Nematandani to be elected unopposed.

Since then, Khoza’s star has been on a downward spiral.

He sulked and initially did not ­attend Safa meetings, choosing

Local Organising Committee and Premier Soccer League meetings where he is the

chair.

As if his loss at the Safa elections was not enough, the news that

his daughter Sonono Khoza had a child with President Jacob Zuma added salt to

Khoza’s wounds at a time when he was already in semi-hibernation.

Ironically, it was Zuma who called a truce between Khoza and the

new Safa leadership, asking them to halt their bickering, at least until after

the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

Khoza made a name with his second coming into football in the 80s

when he came out of nowhere to buy and revive an ailing Orlando ­Pirates, a club

he had served as secretary in the 70s.

From then on he did not look back, unseating Kaizer Motaung who had

been regarded as the most powerful soccer boss prior to that.

While the September 26 loss bruised his ego, he seems to be still

pursuing his ambition of one day becoming Fifa president.

Word in soccer is: undermine him at your own peril.

DANNY JORDAAN: It would seem

that Jordaan and Khoza have had a love-hate relationship since time

immemorial.

Jordaan was deployed from being an ANC MP to football.

He joined Safa as chief executive.

Before then, he was involved with non-racial sport during the days

of apartheid.

He has acted as a Safa president on two occasions.

Jordaan has been working on the World Cup for 12 years since South

Africa started lobbying for the rights to host the 2006 event in which they were

pipped by Germany in a controversial vote that saw the late Charles Dempsey

abstain.

This was a first in world football history.

After that, South Africa fought and won the rights for the World

Cup 2010.

Jordaan’s campaigns for the two bids as well selling South Africa

­after sceptics criticised Fifa for giving the World Cup to an African country,

has boosted his international profile.

His election as the president of the powerful Football

Transformation Forum (FTF) yesterday, was yet another feather in his cap.

The initial idea was that he would go back to Safa as CEO at the

end of the World Cup, but it would seem he now has ambitions to join Caf and

Fifa.

) KIRSTEN NEMATANDANI: He was put forward as a

compromise candidate when it emerged that there would be a bitter war between

Khoza and Jordaan.

The FTF decided that if for any reason, Jordaan had to step down,

they should have a plan B.

Indeed it happened that after a bitter war, Jordaan and Khoza

pulled out of the race and Nematandani won as he was unopposed.

There was talk at the time that he would step down after the World

Cup and allow Jordaan to take over.

However, this version has never been confirmed officially and the

plan seem to have changed.

Nematandani seems to be in for the next four years.

He had initially been former president, Molefi Oliphant’s favourite

candidate, but this changed midstream. He however prevailed and today holds the

most powerful position in SA football.

What he does with that power, ­remains his prerogative.

) LESLEY SEDIBE: Made a name in the music

industry as a lawyer where he ended up chairing the South African Music Awards

(Sama) executive committee.

He then joined the SA 2010 Fifa World Cup Local Organising

Committee where he headed the legal department.

However, the jury is still out on whether he can survive in the

dog-eat-dog world of football.

Whether he has the thick skin and street wisdom –- which are two

crucial ingredients to survive in soccer –is still to be ­tested.

He was given a contract that expires in December, six months after

the end of the World Cup. His ambitions are not clear at the moment but

speculation is that he is in for the long haul in the cut-throat world of SA

soccer.


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