Beckenbauer backs Sexwale as FIFA boss

Tokyo Sexwale has been tipped as a candidate for the Fifa presidency. PHOTO: Markus Schreiber
Tokyo Sexwale has been tipped as a candidate for the Fifa presidency. PHOTO: Markus Schreiber

Vienna - Franz Beckenbauer has backed Tokyo Sexwale as a possible candidate for the FIFA presidency to succeed Sepp Blatter and said the South African can expect support from the German FA.

Speaking at the annual Camp Beckenbauer sports conference in Kitzbuehel, Austria, 'the Kaiser' said the German Football Association (DFB) know "about the quality of the South Africans and the quality of Tokyo Sexwale".

"I certainly believe that the German Football Association would support his candidacy," added Beckenbauer, a former FIFA executive committee member, who is still influential.

The 62-year-old Sexwale has yet to announce whether he will oppose Blatter, 79, at next February's re-election for the FIFA presidency and has until October 26 to decide.

The former anti-apartheid activist, who was an inmate alongside former South African president Nelson Mandela on Robben Island, is a guest at the Camp Beckenbauer event and is considering opposing Blatter.

"We are all affected by what happens at the FIFA," said Sexwale, who is working as an advisor to FIFA.

Beckenbauer, 70, worked with Sexwale at both the 2006 World Cup in Germany and the 2010 event in South Africa.

Michel Platini, president of European football's governing body UEFA, had been considered the favourite to replace Blatter, but his integrity has been questioned over a $2million payment made to him by FIFA in 2011 for consulting work between 1998 and 2002.

Beckenbauer, 70, said Sexwale would be a good option because of his background in politics and said it was time for change at FIFA.

"What is to blame? Is it the people? Of course. Or the system? That's also possible," said the German.

"At some point there will be the opportunity to appoint a president from an external source - someone from economics, someone from politics.

"That is why I refer to Tokyo because he is someone different, who has a political past, but he also knows his way around sport.

"He has the smell of neutrality and that's why I think he would be a good solution."

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