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Motsepe 'The Silent Candidate' with SAFA's Jordaan at forefront of CAF presidency bid

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Patrice Motsepe
Patrice Motsepe
Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

While the headlines regarding Patrice Motsepe's bid to become CAF president are flowing with incessant regularity, it is SAFA president Danny Jordaan who is seemingly spearheading the campaign rather than the billionaire Mamelodi Sundowns boss.

Such have been Motsepe's low key pronouncements about assuming the most powerful position in African soccer when the elections are held next month that one critic has sardonically labelled the gold mining magnate "The Silent Candidate".

Jordaan, who in contrast is never shy to be in the public focus, has regularly commented on what SAFA has labelled the "Motsepe Team's" progress in ending the strong domination of North African nations in controlling the affairs of African soccer through the control of CAF.

Indeed if Jordaan himself is not behind the initiative to install Motsepe as CAF president - and there is a suspicion that he mooted the idea - there is no doubt the SAFA president is enthusiastically in favour of a plan that would enhance his own image and power.

So why is Jordaan not pursuing the idea of becoming CAF president himself? Well in previous CAF elections the SAFA president has not always been embraced with open arms and encompassing Motsepe's wealth might well be the best way for South Africa to make the big breakthrough.

This was evident when Motsepe recently invited a host of African nations presidents to Sundowns' 50th anniversary celebrations and treated those who accepted royally.

Now the "Motsepe Team" of Jordaan and Motsepe are set to canvas support at the CHAN Finals - a controversial competition of few happy memories for South  Africa - where officials of many of the African nations will be present and then leapfrog to FIFA's World Club Championships in Qatar on a similar mission to thwart rival CAF president candidates Augustin Senghor (Senegal), Jacques Anouma (Ivory Coast) and Ahmad Yahya (Mauritania).

Suspended CAF president Ahmad Ahmad has also not given up a forlorn hope of vying to hold onto his position if the appeal against his suspension is successful.

But Motsepe's chances are certainly improved by the prospect of votes being shared by his various rivals and proving that money can buy a lot if not everything.

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