Were Jordaan’s advisors asleep on the job?

2011-02-26 16:20

Second on the 10 timeless ­lessons from the Dalai ­Lama is this one: “When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.”

To which you could add: “The Dalai Lama is right because mistakes are part of the human condition.”

Alexander Pope, the poet, once opined: “To err is human.”

His Holiness the Dalai Lama also said: “It is easy to point out the mistakes of others, while it is hard to admit to one’s own mistakes.”

These pearls of wisdom came cascading down like a waterfall as a result of this week’s happenings in the far-away ­Sudanese capital ­of Khartoum.

This is where the Confederation of African Football (Caf) was born 53 years ago on July 13, 1957.

It is now history that South Africa’s golden boy, Danny ­Jordaan, withdrew from the race for a seat reserved for Southern Africa in the Caf ­executive.

Zambia’s Kalusha Bwalya won the race by 34 votes, beating Malawian Walter Nyamilandu (6), John Muinjo of Namibia (5) and Swaziland’s Adam ­Mthethwa (4).

Jordaan then lost hands down in the contest for a seat on the Fifa executive, where he could only garner 10 votes.

He was beaten by Algeria’s Mohamed Raouraoua (39) and Jacques Anouma (34) from Ivory Coast, who got the two vacant seats.

Council of Southern African Football (Cosafa) president ­Suketu Patel also lost out, with only 12 votes.

There are a number of lessons to be learned and observations to be made from the way things turned out.

Despite the belief that unity is strength, the number of candidates from this region clearly showed that this is not the case and it split the 14 votes from this area.

The north and west are still the powerhouses of African football, so Raouraoua has joined Egyptian Hany Abo Rida in the Fifa executive while Anouma and Caf President Issa Hayatou are from the western block.

Even for Jordaan and Patel to stand against each other for a Fifa position was surely uncalled for.

The weakness of the region can be seen from the fact they both collected 22 votes between them, nowhere near the 39 and 34 Raouraoua and Anouma respectively earned.

Another observation that can be made is that Jordaan’s advisors who led his campaign are possibly not as well entrenched, or as strongly in possession of the inside track on matters of African football as they would like us to believe.

Otherwise, they would have read the situation correctly and advised him to withdraw rather than suffer the embarrassment of a humiliatingly big loss.

Pointing fingers at former ­Safa president Molefi Oliphant – who has been co-opted by Hayatou as first vice-president – as the architect of Jordaan’s fall might also be said not to be strictly fair.

One, because he was fighting for his own life after being dumped by Safa and two, as he did not hold a gun to the heads of the voting candidates to dissuade them from opting for Jordaan.

Maybe Safa and Jordaan’s ­advisors undermined Oliphant’s influence with Caf at their own peril.

These are matters that Jordaan, Oliphant, Safa president Kirsten Nematandani and the Cosafa leadership need to iron out among themselves to ensure that the region prospers going forward.

» smseleku@citypress.co.za

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