SA Football Association (Safa) president, Danny Jordaan has come out guns blazing against those who are of the opinion that Fifa’s endorsement of Patrice Motsepe for Caf presidency means he will end up being Gianni Infantino’s puppet.
There was a lot of concern raised on social media after Infantino was reported to have brokers a deal for two of Motsepe’s opponent for the Caf presidency race to pull out and pledge their support for the South African billionaire last week.
This was said to be Fifa meddling and ensuring that a candidate of their choice – who they can control – was elected, but Jordaan strongly disagrees with this notion.
“Caf is a member of Fifa, so there is nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is for anyone to suggest that Patrice is going to be a puppet of Gianni Infantino – it is insulting, it is demeaning and we must not take the position that when there is a white man and a black man, the black man is going to be the puppet of the white man,” said Jordaan in an interview with SAfm this week.
“It is rubbish, we must dismiss that concept. I don’t want to speak more on that, but if anyone thinks Motsepe is going to be a puppet, they must try him. And those that say such things don’t know Motsepe. He is a fearless leader,” he added.
Jordaan then explained how good relations between Caf and Fifa are essential and should be mutual.
“When Caf has a competition – whether it is junior, senior or women – ultimately the team who win it qualify for a Fifa tournament. That is where you end up, so it makes perfect sense that the continental bodies must work with the international federation.
“But to conclude that a continental president is going to be a puppet of an international federation… and their only argument is for Africa. You will never hear it for other continental federations. It will never be said about Concacaf, Europe or Asia.
“Patrice has been a president of the World Economic Forum and is a global player, he’s not going to be anybody’s puppet. We must understand that Caf and Fifa must work together on the basis of partnership, respect, dignity and equality,” explained Jordaan.
The former Fifa World Cup 2010 chief executive said they are confident Motsepe will emerge victorious in Rabat, Morocco on March 12.
“It’s the count down, we stated on the 12th of November at the height of Covid, we had to dodge it and run around the continent and now it is a few days to go.
“We’ve worked hard and we now have to go to the congress, we will go early and meet the delegates there. At the end of the day it is the presidents of the organisations that’s coming to vote – all 54 of them.
“Our candidate has to get 51% of the vote, and that’s 28 votes, to win and we’ve done well this far.”