Sexwale’s Fifa cam­paign is head­ing for em­bar­rass­ment

CityPress - - Sport -

Ihope I’m wrong, but my gut feel­ing is that Tokyo Sexwale will not only em­bar­rass him­self in Zurich next month but em­bar­rass the coun­try and the whole con­ti­nent too.

I tend to con­cur with the Ghana Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent’s sen­ti­ments last week that Sexwale is in the race for the fun of it.

Kwesi Nyan­takyi scoffed: “Sleep­ing in the same prison room with Nelson Man­dela is not enough to win the Fifa pres­i­dency.”

The con­tin­u­ous talk that Sexwale was at Robben Is­land with Nelson Man­dela does not mean any­thing in the big­ger scheme of things, and es­pe­cially on a con­ti­nent where each coun­try has its own lib­er­a­tion strug­gle hero – Pa­trice Lu­mumba, Kwame Nkrumah, Samora Machel and Julius Ny­erere, to men­tion just a few.

Even in Zim­babwe, Robert Mu­gabe is their pro­tag­o­nist, not Madiba.

There is no doubt about Sexwale’s busi­ness and lead­er­ship cre­den­tials, but foot­ball is a dif­fer­ent ball game.

Just to re­cap, the South African mogul has never taken his cam­paign se­ri­ously, and re­ports com­ing from the con­ti­nent are not en­cour­ag­ing. Hope­fully he is read­ing the signs and will stop liv­ing in a fool’s par­adise.

His com­pa­tri­ots on the con­ti­nent have painted a neg­a­tive pic­ture of him, as he has not con­vinced them he is the right man for the job.

Sexwale has not vis­ited all the coun­tries that nom­i­nated him for the plum job of Fifa pres­i­dent, yet he ex­pects them to vote for him.

He has been gal­li­vant­ing through Europe, which has fur­ther fu­elled the mind-set of many Africans that South Africans think they live in Europe.

The fact is, Europe will never vote for him; only this week, Ger­many made it clear they would vote with most Euro­pean coun­tries for Gianni In­fantino.

Asia is back­ing Sheikh Sal­man Bin Ibrahim al-Khal­ifa, and at an event last week in Ki­gali, Rwanda, prior to the start of the African Na­tions Cham­pi­onship, African mem­bers vir­tu­ally handed their vote to al-Khal­ifa too.

If Sexwale doesn’t have sup­port in his own back yard, where is he go­ing to get it?

How do you at­tend Fifa’s Bal­lon d’Or and not the CAF Awards – which were tak­ing place in the same week and where vot­ers on the con­ti­nent were con­gre­gat­ing – and hope they will give you their vote?

Wait un­til vot­ing day (Fe­bru­ary 26) and you will see a true African “brother”.

Other Fifa hope­fuls were in Ki­gali last week and Sexwale only rocked up a day be­fore the open­ing cer­e­mony.

Me­thinks other can­di­dates are far ahead in terms of their cam­paign trail and have put their ducks in a row. They have trav­elled the length and breadth of the world – from Afghanistan to Zim­babwe – as they know the im­por­tance of drum­ming up sup­port face-to-face.

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