Sexwale goes to jail with ri­vals

CityPress - - Sport - S’BUSISO MSE­LEKU sm­se­leku@city­

South African Fifa pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Tokyo Sexwale will host two of his elec­tion ri­vals, Gianni In­fantino and Sheikh Sal­man Bin Ibrahim al-Khal­ifa, at Robben Is­land to­mor­row.

He will take them on a tour of the once-in­fa­mous is­land that is now a pop­u­lar tourist at­trac­tion, de­clared a na­tional her­itage site.

A source close to Sexwale said yes­ter­day: “They want to see for them­selves how the Makana Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion that was given an hon­orary Fifa mem­ber­ship ran things.”

The source said Sexwale had in­vited all four fel­low can­di­dates, but French­man Jérôme Cham­pagne and Prince Ali bin al-Hus­sein of Jor­dan were not able to ac­cept the of­fer due to other en­gage­ments.

“Cham­pagne in­di­cated that he might join the press con­fer­ence that will fol­low the tour and pre­sen­ta­tion in Cape Town via Skype,” said the source.

In­fantino and the sheikh have emerged as the fron­trun­ners for the elec­tions tak­ing place this Fri­day.

The po­si­tion be­came va­cant when Sepp Blat­ter stepped down as pres­i­dent last year fol­low­ing enor­mous pres­sure em­a­nat­ing from nu­mer­ous ac­cu­sa­tions of cor­rup­tion.

He and for­mer Union of Euro­pean Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tions (Uefa) pres­i­dent Michel Pla­tini have since been handed eight-year bans each.

They ap­peared be­fore the Fifa ap­peals com­mit­tee this week to protest their pun­ish­ment.

The source re­fused to elab­o­rate about Mon­day’s gath­er­ing of the trio, but the chances of a deal be­ing bro­kered among them can­not be ruled out.

The Con­fed­er­a­tion of African Foot­ball, which has 54 mem­bers, has thrown in its lot with the sheikh, while Uefa, with 53 mem­bers, is back­ing In­fantino, the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s gen­eral sec­re­tary.

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