Johannesburg – The southern African soccer region endorsed Danny Jordaan, the 2010 World Cup’s head organiser, for a place on the FIFA Council left open when Kwesi Nyantakyi resigned under allegations of corruption.
The Council of Southern African Football Associations (COSAFA) said after a meeting on Friday that Jordaan will be its preferred candidate when Africa’s 54 full member countries vote at a Confederation of African Football general assembly in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, on September 30.
Ghana’s Nyantakyi, who also resigned as a CAF vice president and head of the Ghana soccer association, is under investigation by FIFA after he was filmed by undercover reporters allegedly taking a $ 65 000 cash gift, which is prohibited.
COSAFA, a body made up of 14 countries, endorsed the 67-year-old Jordaan, the president of the South African Football Association, ahead of Walter Nyamilandu of Malawi and Elvis Chetty of Seychelles. Those 14 southern African nations aren’t compelled to vote for Jordaan, however.
Nick Mwendwa of Kenya and Leodegar Tenga of Tanzania, who are from the East African region, have also said they will stand for the FIFA position, which is reserved for a representative from Africa’s English-speaking countries.
Jordaan’s reputation has been diminished since presiding over a successful first World Cup in Africa as head of South Africa’s organizing committee. He was accused of involvement in a $ 10 million bribe South Africa allegedly paid to corrupt FIFA executives to get them to vote for the country’s hosting bid.
Last year, a South African singer accused Jordaan of raping her in 1993.
Jordaan has denied both accusations.
Jordaan is a member of the CAF executive committee but pulled out of a vote for a place on the FIFA Council last year.
Then, Nyantakyi beat Tenga to the place, one of seven set aside for African officials on FIFA’s 37-member top panel.
At Friday’s meeting, COSAFA also put forward its own president, Phillip Chiyangwa of Zimbabwe, as a candidate for the CAF executive committee to replace Kalusha Bwalya. Bwalya was banned from soccer for two years by FIFA last month over payments he received from the disgraced former Asian soccer leader Mohammed bin Hammam.
Chiyangwa, a multimillionaire property tycoon renowned for his flashy lifestyle, has had a rapid rise after entering soccer politics only three years ago. He was elected Zimbabwe Football Association president in 2015 and COSAFA head the year after.
Chiyangwa was also instrumental in helping current CAF president Ahmad end the 29-year reign of Issa Hayatou as the boss of African soccer last year.