Tokyo Sexwale ‘open to negotiations and alliances’ in Fifa presidential vote

2016-03-02 06:00
PHOTO: REUTERS Fifa presidential candidate Gianni Infantino (right) jokes with rival Tokyo Sexwale at a news conference in Cape Town on Monday. Infantino is confident of taking more than half the votes from Africa in tomorrow’s election, despite the continent’s governing body endorsing his major rival Sheik Salman of Bahrain. Infantino made a fleeting visit to South Africa on Monday to visit Robben Island at the invitation of Sexwale who spent 13 years incarcerated on the island as an anti-Apartheid prisoner.

PHOTO: REUTERS Fifa presidential candidate Gianni Infantino (right) jokes with rival Tokyo Sexwale at a news conference in Cape Town on Monday. Infantino is confident of taking more than half the votes from Africa in tomorrow’s election, despite the continent’s governing body endorsing his major rival Sheik Salman of Bahrain. Infantino made a fleeting visit to South Africa on Monday to visit Robben Island at the invitation of Sexwale who spent 13 years incarcerated on the island as an anti-Apartheid prisoner.

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

SOUTH African Fifa presidential candidate Tokyo Sexwale said on Monday he is a realist who is “open to negotiations and alliances” ahead of Friday’s vote in Zurich.

Sexwale, whose campaign has failed to gain traction, is the first candidate in the process to suggest he could be interested in striking a deal.

The millionaire businessman is up against Asian Football Confederation president Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, former Fifa deputy general secretary Jerome Champagne, Jordanian Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein and Uefa general secretary Gianni Infantino in the race to lead the world soccer governing body.

Fifa is embroiled in a corruption scandal that has led to indictments against several dozen senior officials in the United States. Long-term president Sepp Blatter has been banned for eight years for ethics violations.

“What is important for me is I’m in the top five (candidates). But I am also still a realist and I’m open to negotiations and alliances,” he told a news conference after visiting Robben Island jail with Infantino.

Sexwale was a close friend of the late former South African president Nelson Mandela, the pair having spent 13 years together at the prison off Cape Town. He was a member of the African National Congress and a post- apartheid government minister before moving into business and becoming involved with Fifa’s Anti-Discrimination Task Force.

He said he expected his country to vote for him after South African media reports suggested the country’s football association would be backing Sheikh Salman instead.

The South African Football Association has made no comment.

Sexwale’s bid for support from elsewhere in Africa fell flat this month when the Confederation of African Football instead endorsed Sheikh Salman.

Asked about his chances, Sexwale said: “It’s like the Vatican, you never know what will come out. But at least I will have South Africa’s vote because they told the world at a press conference [in October] that I was their candidate.

“I guess they will vote for me because they said so but because it (the ballot) is held behind a curtain you never know for who they cast their vote.”

Last month, Sexwale was summoned to meet Safa leadership about the state of his campaign. They wanted answers about Sexwale’s election tactics after they had helped him obtain the five nominations needed to stand to replace Blatter.

The 62-year-old Sexwale sounded upbeat on Monday.

“Others have said they will back me but said ‘please don’t tell the world’. It’s a secretive process,” he said.
– Reuters.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.