Is Jordaan now SA soccer boss of bosses?

2011-05-07 20:27

Danny Jordaan has quietly emerged as the new kingpin of SA soccer – despite a failed bid to become president of the South African Football Association (Safa) in 2009.

Since that fateful day in ­September when he and Irvin Khoza were forced to abandon the race, paving the way for incumbent Kirsten Nematandani, ­Jordaan has added more soccer feathers to his hat.

Not even a watershed defeat at the Confederation of African Football (Caf) elections in Khartoum, Sudan, where he stood for positions in the continental body’s executive as well as in the world governing body Fifa, has deterred the veteran Port Elizabeth-born administrator.

Jordaan, who still serves on the 2010 Fifa World Cup Local Organising Committee (LOC) as CEO (a paid position), has since September 2009 been elected president of the Football Transformation ­Forum and Safa’s fourth-vice president.

He also serves on several Safa standing committees, including the management committee, with Nematandani, vice-presidents Mwelo Nonkonyana, Mandla Mazibuko, Khoza, national executive committee member ­Alpha ­Mchunu and chief operations ­officer Dennis ­Mumble.

Jordaan chairs the international affairs committee and the commercial affairs committee. As head of commercial ­affairs, he is spearheading the probe into the Bafana Bafana naming rights debacle, is busy concluding the Puma deal as the national team sponsor and is leading negotiations with the SABC for broadcast rights.

Soon after the Khartoum fiasco, Fifa secretary general Jerome ­Valcke announced Jordaan had been roped into the Fifa 2014 World Cup Organising Committee in Brazil.

He will only relinquish his position as LOC CEO after tabling a final report at the Fifa Congress scheduled for Zurich next month.

He is one of only three members left to wind down its business. The other members are Nematandani and Nonkonyana.

All this has led to the question: Is Jordaan now the new ­kingpin of SA football?

“No”, he says. “You can’t call me that. I have been with Safa for 20 years and in that period have worked at several African Cup of Nations finals and World Cup finals.”

“I think people who elect me to these positions think that I have the necessary experience.”

However, his gradual but steady rise has prompted questions about whether it is good for SA football when one individual holds multiple ­powerful positions.

The same questions popped up when Khoza was in a similar ­position. These developments have also rekindled fears that the same ­scenario will unfold as was the case with the late George Thabe.

Thabe was too powerful as the head of the amateur and professional bodies in this country, and it eventually led to the ugly and bloody soccer split in 1985.

While members of other Safa committees receive allowances and honoraria, Jordaan says: “I have never received an allowance nor an honoraria from Safa.

“I am an employee and thus earn a salary.”

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