SA’s Danny Jordaan urges English FA to restore relations with Fifa

2011-06-10 00:00

JOHANNESBURG — Danny Jordaan has urged the English FA to restore relations with Fifa and involve itself in the adjustments it wishes to see implemented.

Jordaan (50) led South Africa’s successful 2010 Fifa World Cup bid and also served as the tournament’s chief executive officer. Furthermore, he has served on Fifa’s marketing and television board since 1998.

The English FA received heavy criticism for its unsuccessful appeal to have the Fifa presidential elections postponed and abstained from voting amid allegations of corruption and bribery.

Consequently, unopposed presidential re-elect Sepp Blatter reinforced the English FA’s condemnation and moved to isolate it.

However, the Fifa chief admitted changes would need to be made at football’s world governing body, and has since initiated an independent solutions committee to improve individual accountability and transparency.

Jordaan was asked whether the English FA can build bridges with Fifa, to which he replied: “They have to because in this period, it’s also a transition period for Fifa.

“Everyone was talking about the need for changes inside Fifa, so they must contribute. Everyone who wants to see a different direction for global football, must be a participant otherwise you can’t help shape.

“So, yes, I think they should roll up their sleeves and participate.”

The South African took a pragmatic approach toward England’s tarnished image and reinforced the importance of democracy in Fifa.

“I think it’s a common view that the English are arrogant, but I don’t agree with that view.

“If people are strong in their beliefs and their views, and they’re ready to express it, we must not therefore conclude that they are arrogant.

“But it’s important because perception, unchallenged, becomes reality and I think that’s where the engagement of the England FA officials becomes important.

“Democracy includes the right to vote, but also the right not to vote, so if any country decides to abstain, that’s part of their democratic right.

“And it’s in the Fifa constitution, so you cannot take offence if a member exercises its democratic right. Whether that was the best move for England, that’s a separate matter.”

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