Amid reports in the media that the South African Football Association didn’t back Tokyo Sexwale’s drive to become the next president of Fifa, the SA association has stepped up to set the record straight.
Sexwale infamously stepped down from the voting process, suspending his nomination as one of the five contenders for the crown. Gianni Infantino has become the new president since then.
“For starters, it was Safa that endorsed the Tokyo Sexwale candidacy and helped him garner the five countries required to enter the race for the FIFA Presidency,” Safa Head of Communications Dominic Chimhavi told Kick Off.
“On top of that, Mr Sexwale himself has never doubted the support given to him by SAFA except for certain individuals who have a self-serving agenda.
“SAFA provided him with every resource that he needed from international affairs, media and any other needs and most of these worked throughout the festive season to provide Mr Sexwale with the support he needed. That is a fact never in doubt!
“So talk that SAFA didn’t support Mr Sexwale is laughable and being perpetuated by those not in the know. We gave him all the support he needed.”
CEO Dennis Mumble and NEC member Anastacia Tsiclas were present at the voting system in Zurich, Switzerland on Friday.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has made its stand known heading to the Friday 26th February FIFA elections to pick a successor to Sepp Blatter.
The continent will as a bloc, be voting for the Asian Football Confederations (AFC) president Sheikh Salman Bin Ibrahim Al-Khalifa, rejecting the continent’s own, Tokyo Sexwale, who hails from South Africa.
After a whole day of deliberations in the CAF Executive Committee meeting in Kigali on Friday 5th February, the CAF second vice president Almamy Kabele Camara stepped out to reveal the body will be voting as a bloc for Al – Khalifa.
“After the CAF executive meeting today, we have unanimously decided to back Sheikh Salman as the next FIFA president,” he said.
Camara declined to take questions from the waiting journalists, only stating that CAF will be releasing a detailed report on the decision on its website later on.
Sexwale, along with other candidates, Gianni Infantino and Jerome Champagne have been camping in Rwanda to lobby for the continent’s vote.
Two Africans are in the final list of seven contestants officially announced by FIFA on Wednesday to take part in the body’s presidential polls fixed for February 26 next year.
The two candidates flying African’s flag are Tokyo Sexwale from South Africa and Musa Bility from Liberia.
Those also confirmed to be in the race to become the world’s number one football citizen are Prince Ali, Jerome Champagne, Gianni Infantino, Michel Platini, and Sheikh Salman.
It was gathered that former Trinidad and Tobago international David Nakhid who confirmed his intention to run for the presidency on Monday failed to receive the required backing from five member associations.
On his part, UEFA president Platini remains in the running, but FIFA will only consider the Frenchman’s bid if his current suspension is lifted before the election takes place.
A statement from FIFA read: “FIFA’s member associations have proposed, in due time and form, seven candidates for the presidential election to take place at the Extraordinary FIFA Congress in Zurich on February 26, 2016.
“Given that Michel Platini is currently provisionally banned from taking part in any football-related activity, his candidature will not be processed by the Ad-hoc Electoral Committee as long as such ban is valid and in force.
“Should such a ban be lifted or expire before the FIFA presidential election, the Ad-hoc Electoral Committee would decide, depending on the respective exact point in time, on how to proceed with the candidature concerned.”
Blatter has been at the helm of affairs for 17-years and a breath of fresh air is now knocking on the doors with the list of Presidential candidates now confirmed.
Following Monday night’s deadline for the declaration by candidates for the FIFA presidential election in February 2016 where Nigeria failed to get a representation, Eight men will stand for election to become Fifa’s new president, after three new candidates entered the race on the final day before nominations closed.
The contest will revolve around powerful figures from football’s most powerful confederations with Africa holding 56 of the 209 votes in the election, Europe 54 and Asia 47.
The unprecedentedly crowded field includes serious and credible candidates from Africa, Europe and Asia, which will test the strength of Fifa’s traditional continental voting blocs and here, 366football.com profiles eight of the known candidates.
- Michel Platini
Michel François Platini is the serving president of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) since 2007, and formerly a French football player and manager.
Platini had been favourited to succeed Blatter with the backing of his own Uefa confederation, and had been all but reportedly assured the support of Asia, by its key power brokers, Sheikh Salman of Bahrain and Sheikh Ahmed of Kuwait with the former now in the race.
With nominations closing before any decision on Platini’s chances which has been marred by Fifa’s ethics committee, which provisionally suspended him two weeks ago over a suspicious £1.35m payment made to him in 2011 by the outgoing FIFA president Blatter.
Uefa general secretary Gianni Infantino has entered the Fifa presidential election race – hours before the deadline for candidates.
Infantino joins suspended Uefa boss Michel Platini in the bid to replace outgoing president Sepp Blatter, 79.
Platini maintains he will stand despite Fifa saying it cannot recognise its vice-president’s candidacy while his 90-day ban is in place.
Blatter – who is also banned – will be succeeded at an election in February.
All candidates need the backing of five federations to be put forward for the vote.
Infantino is one of nine candidates to say they will stand, with the deadline for applications set at 00:00 GMT on Tuesday.
“We are delighted that Gianni has agreed to stand and he knows that he has our full support in his campaign to become Fifa president,” European football’s governing body Uefa said in a statement.
“He is in the process of submitting the required nominations and will issue a statement on his candidacy later today.”
To date, South Africa’s Tokyo Sexwale, Prince Ali Bin al-Hussein of Jordan, former Trinidad and Tobago international David Nakhid, former Fifa deputy general secretary Jerome Champagne and Liberia FA president Musa Bility have said they have formally submitted their bids.
Asian Football Confederation president Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa is also expected to submit his candidacy before the deadline.
Alongside Sexwale and Bility, a third African candidate – former Nigerian international Segun Odegbami – has also announced his intention to stand.
Fifa has confirmed it will hold the election to determine Blatter’s successor at a special congress on 26 February 2016.
Swiss Blatter and Frenchman Platini, 60, are suspended while Fifa investigates reports that a £1.35m payment was made in 2011 for work Platini did as Blatter’s adviser.
Both men deny any wrongdoing and are appealing against their 90-day bans.
The South African Football Association (SAFA)’s National Executive Committee (NEC) on Saturday, 24 October 2015 unanimously endorsed businessman Tokyo Sexwale as their candidate for the FIFA presidency.
The decision to endorse Sexwale was taken at a Johannesburg hotel after the former Robben Island political prisoner had made a presentation to the SAFA NEC.
Elections to replace Joseph ‘Sepp’ Blatter as FIFA President are scheduled to take place on 26 February next year.
“It was a unanimous decision and we will now move to engage CAF on our decision and see how we can coordinate our decisions going forward,” said SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan.
“We will also engage various other federations together with Mr Sexwale to enlist their support because his victory will usher in a new era not only for the continent but the entire world.”