By Andrew Warshaw
September 12 – Danny Jordaan, the public face of the 2010 South Africa World Cup whose star has waned in recent years after being plunged into the limelight for all the wrong reasons, could soon be back as part of world football’s powerful elite after being endorsed for a place on the FIFA Council.
Jordaan, once seemingly the voice of reason and good governance, has since seen his reputation plummet amid sexual assault allegations dating back 25 years and a mystery $10 million payment that has reportedly been part of the US Department of Justice’s corruption investigations.
The Council of Southern African Football Associations (COSAFA) has confirmed 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.
Jordaan presided over Africa’s first World Cup as head of South Africa’s organising committee but his reputation has diminished since then. He was accused of involvement in a $10 million bribe South Africa allegedly paid to FIFA executives to get them to vote for the country’s hosting bid.
Then last year a South African singer Jennifer Ferguson accused Jordaan of rape back in 1993. A criminal case against Jordaan, who strongly denies the allegations, has been opened but he has not been charged.
A place on the all-powerful FIFA Council became available when Ghana’s Kwesi Nyantakyi, CAF’s vice-president, resigned after he was filmed by an undercover reporter allegedly taking a $65,000 cash gift. He is currently under suspension by FIFA.
COSAFA, a body made up of 14 countries, endorsed Jordaan, the president of the South African Football Association, ahead of Walter Nyamilandu of Malawi and Elvis Chetty of Seychelles. Nick Mwendwa of Kenya and Leodegar Tenga of Tanzania have also said they will stand for the FIFA position, which is reserved for a representative from English-speaking countries.
Last year Nyantakyi beat Tenga to the role, one of seven places set aside for African officials on the 37-strong FIFA body.
Jordaan is a member of the CAF executive committee but pulled out of going for the FIFA Council last year amid speculation that he is being investigated by US authorities as part of the FifaGate scandal. He would have to undergo an integrity check to be eligible for the FIFA Council seat.
COSAFA has also put forward its own president, Phillip Chiyangwa of Zimbabwe, who has gained a reputation for a somewhat flashy lifestyle, as a candidate for its 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 was instrumental in helping current CAF president Ahmad Ahmad come to power and end the 29-year reign of Issa Hayatou.
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