The South African Football Association through their emergency committee have invited FIFA presidential hopeful Tokyo Sexwale for a meeting , just to touch base and give heads up about his campaign to assume the top position at FIFA House.
It has been widely speculated that the powers within SA football are not entirely chuffed on regarding the manner in which Sexwale has conducted his campaign so far. A lot has been said about his lacklustre campaign which is clouded with secrecy around it, which eventually left the same associations that nominated Sexwale onto the FIFA ballot very much in the dark and left many questions unanswered. Mr Sexwale’s euro-centric campaign approach while neglecting the African continent has received widespread criticism within the African football corridors.
SAFA emergency committee as mandated by the NEC would most likely set the scene of events to unfold in Kigali on Friday 4th February , where CAF is meeting to announce which candidate, African football body will be backing going into the FIFA elections later on this month.
Although SAFA has refuted claims that they’re going to inform Mr Sexwale to step aside, cracks have emerged in his campaign trail for a longer period. SAFA would be forced to act by CAF in order to enable the Egypt headquartered conferadation to fully rally behind one candidate, the current Asian football confederations Sheikh Salman.
The race has turned into a political sphere, and I can safely say that SAFA is in a very peculiar position, as they cannot afford to be further alienated from the powers at being with African football by defying CAF or should I say Issa Hayatou instruction and command.
In a radio interview last week Sexwale let the cat out regarding pending alliance with certain candidates ahead of February 26 vote, he also emphasised the importance of having a FIFA president from either Asia or Africa. The ousted and disgraced former FIFA president Sepp Blatter was hailed as a champion for including previously marginalised countries to participate in world football matters, on the same equal platform as their counterparts from privileged backgrounds across the globe. Blatter introduced the ground-breaking GOAL projects in Africa and Asia in order to facilitate issues of participations and development within sport.
There seems to have a discomfort amongst football executives towards a Gianni Infantino FIFA presidency, with fears that all soccer powers would now be centrally located in Europe. The current UEFA General Secretary did include in his manifesto increasing the world cup teams from 32 to 40. The African continent stands a good chance of having more teams participating in future world cup tournament.
It will be very interesting to follow on the outcomes of the CAF meeting this coming Friday in Kigali, Rwanda. All candidates vying for the FIFA presidency will each be given a platform to share their vision for FIFA, as the world football governing body tries to restore the already damaged brand.
Deals, alliances, money and scenarios will be the order of the day. In my opinion one such scenario that may come into the fore is: SAFA to announce full backing of Sexwale going into the CAF meeting, where the Africa confederation led by Issa Hayatou would instruct Sexwale to pull out and jump into bed with Sheikh Salman. With Salman at the helm Tokyo is to be given a key role, like Chairperson of a powerful committee like finance or competitions.
After all has been said and done the race to occupy the glass office at FIFA house is in full throttle, and has just entered the final lap. We just hope and pray that the current lobbying is above board where no shenanigans are to be the ultimate deciding factors, on who eventually get selected to this mammoth task of building the FIFA brand