OPINION | Motsepe's appointment as CAF president: A stroke of genius or just a Jordaan gimmick?

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CAF president Patrice Motsepe with SAFA president Danny Jordaan. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)
CAF president Patrice Motsepe with SAFA president Danny Jordaan. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

Has the newly appointed CAF president, the engaging, versatile and multi-faceted successful 59- year-old Mamelodi Sundowns boss, Patrice Motsepe, never heard of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo?

This is not a question to be taken seriously, of course.

But then neither is the assumption of the multi-billionaire mining magnate and social and sporting benefactor that Africa boasts the best soccer players in the world and there is no reason why the continent cannot mould together with the right preparation, effort and enthusiasm international teams to stand alongside the best South America and Europe and the other continents can offer.

Unfortunately there are good reasons. Even the great Brazilian, Pele, regarded widely as the greatest soccer player ever, learnt to his cost when he declared in the late 1980s that an African nation would win the prized World Cup before the turn of the century, with none progressing beyond the quarter-finals up to this day - and Motsepe might discover this as well as he takes on the honorous task of heading the continent's soccer organisation without any hands-on executive administrative experience at SAFA national or provincial level.

And this raises the point of what prompted Motsepe to stand for the CAF job with so much work and success already on his plate, business-wise, sporting-wise as the Sundowns owner and president, as a social benefactor and with a family of his own to keep an eye on as well - and not forgetting that he bought a 38 percent share in the Blue Bulls rugby team, which alone would almost conjure up a full-time undertaking for others in their own right.

In addition, Motsepe has admitted it was not his idea in the first place to vie for the CAF presidency and it took a fair degree of persuasion to accept the proposition put to him by SAFA president Danny Jordaan, not someone who has ever shunned the prospect of being in the public limelight and had himself courted the idea of becoming CAF president before it became clear it was slipping beyond his grasp.

What better then to have an associate as close, respected and potentially influential as Motsepe as the second prize in the CAF presidency stakes?

Either way, only time will tell how beneficial it will all prove for African soccer, South African soccer, SAFA, Jordaan - and, of course, Motsepe as well in handling his latest undertaking along with his many others, even though on paper he will stand down as Sundowns president as the CAF rules require and his son will become the club chairperson.

In the meantime, Jordaan, who to a large extent piloted the Motsepe CAF president election campaign and also persuaded his good friend, FIFA president Gianni Infantino, to support the proposal, has remained in the limelight with some mind-blowing comments.

The SAFA president suggests that it is to Motsepe's presidential advantage that he has had no national administrative experience like all those who have become tainted in African soccer before him - presumably, in the circumstances, including Jordaan himself.

But perhaps more outrageous is Jordaan's assessment that Motsepe gaining the CAF presidency is equal for South Africa to that of securing the hosting of the World Cup in 2010!

Disclaimer: Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24. 

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