By Andrew Warshaw
October 1 – Danny Jordaan’s bid to take up one of Africa’s top positions at the heart FIFA suffered a crushing blow at the weekend when he was heavily beaten in the ballot for a place on the FIFA Council.
Jordaan, the public face of the 2010 South Africa World Cup, lost out to Malawi Football Association president, Walter Nyamilandu, at a special sitting of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Executive Committee in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
Jordaan, head of the South African FA but whose star has waned in recent years 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, had passed an eligibility test to run but was overlooked in the second round of voting.
Local reports claimed his vote for the USA, Canada‚ Mexico to host the 2026 World Cup at the expense of Morocco triggered negative sentiment towards him especially from CAF chief Ahmad Ahmad who has been close to the Moroccans since his election two years ago.
The SAFA president reportedly cast that vote on the instruction of his national government but faced the consequences with Ahmad going for Nyamilandu as his preferred candidate for the vacant FIFA Council seat for Anglophone African countries.
Despite support from throughout Southern Africa, Jordaan lost by 35 votes to 18 after Ahmad canvassed support for the former Malawi international midfielder.
As well as being up against Nyalimandu, Jordaan also faced Leodegar Tenga of Tanzania after Kenya’s Nick Mwendwa and the Seychelles Elvis Chetty pulled out.
In the first round of voting Nyamilandu received 23 votes‚ Jordaan 16 and Tenga 14. As no majority of 50% plus one vote was attained‚ the bottom candidate fell out of the race and the top two went for another round of voting.
Jordaan’s supporters banked on many of Tenga’s votes swinging the South African’s way but heavy canvassing from Ahmad’s camp saw the poll go the way of Nyamilandu.
The post became available when Kwesi Nyantakyi of Ghana resigned in the face of damaging allegations of corruption and the result will be a bitter political blow to Jordaan, the third time he has failed in a bid to take up a seat at FIFA’s top table.
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