Sexwale’s Fifa campaign is heading for embarrassment
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.