Let’s fix Bafana and forget about elections

2012-02-18 19:48

Let’s fix Bafana Bafana and forget about lobbying for positions in next year’s South African Football Association (Safa) elections. This is the message from Safa fourth vice-president, Danny Jordaan.

In a frank interview with City Press, Jordaan lashed out at political campaigners, saying: “Anyone campaigning or lobbying for a position in next year’s elections is out of order and does not deserve to be in the Safa executive.

“We have some very serious and pressing issues to attend to rather than focusing on elections that are only in September next year.”

He added: “Bafana Bafana are in a mess and we need to come up with a quick turnaround strategy. It will be disastrous if they are knocked out in the first round of next year’s Afcon (Africa Cup of Nations).”

Jordaan said issues that needed immediate attention were:

» Fixing Bafana Bafana;

» Giving Banyana Banyana full support to ensure that they do well at the Olympic Games in July;

» Implementing the agreements reached at the recent Safa symposium; and

» Starting with preparations to host the Afcon early next year.

Jordaan argued that after South Africa got a nine out of 10 rating from football motherbody Fifa for hosting the 2010 World Cup, it would be an anomaly for Bafana to bomb out in the Afcon first round and fail to host a successful African tournament.

Jordaan’s comments come after Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula ordered Safa to get its house in order.

He also had very strong words for the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee’s (Sascoc) insistence that former Safa vice-president Mubarak Mohamed leads a committee to investigate Bafana’s failure to qualify for this year’s Afcon.

“He is the last person who can lead such an investigation if ever there was such,” fumed Jordaan. “He is highly conflicted as he was seconded by Safa to the Sascoc executive. He was also part of the group that lost out at the last Safa elections (in September 2009).

“Before leading such an investigation, he should report how he was part of Bafana’s decline as head of delegation to the 2004 Afcon in Tunisia and the 2006 version (in Egypt) where he had a huge fight with Benni McCarthy.”

The team bombed out in the first round in 2004 and were seriously embarrassed two years later when they failed even to score a single goal or earn a point.

Jordaan also hinted that he might be lost to South African football due to his increasing international engagements.

“I am weighing my options and will be making an announcement in a few weeks’ time,” he said.

Besides being Safa’s fourth vice-president, Jordaan, who was chief executive of the 2010 World Cup, serves on the association’s management committee and chairs the international and commercial affairs committee.

But it is on the international front where his plate is piling up.

Jordaan has been appointed special advisor to the Brazil organising committee for the 2014 Fifa World Cup.
On February 27-28, he will be in Zurich, Switzerland, to attend a meeting of the newly-formed Fifa sub-committee on transparency and compliance.

The meeting will be followed by a paper – titled Building a Viable Football Industry in Africa – he is set to deliver at Harvard University on March 3.

On March 14-15, he will be the keynote speaker at the second International Sport Security Conference in Doha, Qatar, titled Creating a Platform for Growth through Safe Sporting Events.

On the continent, Jordaan sits on the marketing committee of the Confederation of African Football, is an Afcon organising committee member and has just been appointed to the Council of Southern African Football Associations marketing committee.

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