Jor­daan de­fends his no-show in Zurich

CityPress - - Sport - TI­MOTHY MOLOBI ti­mothy@city­press.co.za

Safa pres­i­dent Danny Jor­daan has rub­bished the DA’s claims that his ab­sence at the Fifa congress on Fri­day im­plied he was run­ning away from the FBI in the US.

Jor­daan, a mem­ber of the famed Three Mus­ke­teers, along with his deputy, Irvin Khoza, and for­mer pres­i­dent Molefi Oliphant, were ini­tially sched­uled to be at the Fifa pres­i­den­tial elec­tion in Zurich, but were con­spic­u­ous in their ab­sence.

This led to the DA de­mand­ing to know why Safa’s head hon­chos did not travel to Zurich. In­stead, Safa was rep­re­sented by ex­ec­u­tive mem­ber Anas­ta­sia Tsich­las, who cast the pres­i­den­tial vote on be­half of Safa. She trav­elled there with Safa CEO Den­nis Mum­ble.

“It’s all rub­bish and a non-is­sue to me,” said an an­gry Jor­daan yes­ter­day.

“The DA is fight­ing pol­i­tics and I am not go­ing to dig­nify that with a com­ment. Ev­ery­body knows it was bud­get week, so I wasn’t sup­posed to be there to ap­prove it and rather sit in a foot­ball meet­ing?

“Last time they were ac­cus­ing me of be­ing a part-time mayor who was not in­ter­ested in the peo­ple.

“The FBI were not even there. Who was ar­rested? Where is the war­rant of ar­rest? My name is not there. This is sick­en­ing and they just want at­ten­tion,” said Jor­daan.

City Press was re­li­ably in­formed that the trio had ini­tially been set to travel to Zurich, but can­celled their plans this week.

Khoza, who was said to have had a fam­ily com­mit­ment, did not an­swer his phone. Oliphant, who was sup­posed to at­tend a Con­fed­er­a­tion of African Foot­ball (CAF) meet­ing on Thurs­day as an hon­orary vice-pres­i­dent, also said he had a fam­ily com­mit­ment.

But the DA’s shadow min­is­ter for sport, Solly Malatsi, is adamant that “there are still ques­tions to be an­swered”.

“It is very in­ter­est­ing that since the re­lease of the in­dict­ment and the FBI’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the Fifa bribery scan­dal, the pres­i­dent of Safa has never been to Zurich for foot­ball­re­lated mat­ters, and it raises the ques­tion: What is he scared of?” asked Malatsi.

“Some­thing seems to al­ways come up when he has to travel. We had a South African ci­ti­zen who was a pres­i­den­tial can­di­date and the se­nior lead­er­ship of foot­ball could not at­tend, yet they claimed to have sup­ported him. It just raises ques­tions, and it can’t just be ur­gent mu­nic­i­pal­ity busi­ness that pre­vented him from go­ing. He knew when he ac­cepted the po­si­tion of the may­or­ship that mu­nic­i­pal­ity ac­tiv­i­ties would co­in­cide with foot­ball mat­ters, but I find this a con­ve­nient co­in­ci­dence.”

Last year, the DA opened a case with the po­lice to in­ves­ti­gate the al­leged $10 mil­lion (R161 mil­lion at the cur­rent ex­change rate) paid to the Con­fed­er­a­tion of North, Cen­tral Amer­i­can and Caribbean As­so­ci­a­tion Foot­ball in 2008 af­ter the coun­try won a bid to host the 2010 World Cup.

The US jus­tice depart­ment last year claimed a South African bid of­fi­cial paid a bribe to host the 2010 soc­cer spec­ta­cle.

Malatsi said: “Un­for­tu­nately, we have not heard any­thing from the po­lice since we opened the case to ini­ti­ate an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the al­le­ga­tions. We want the po­lice to in­ves­ti­gate whether it was a South African ci­ti­zen who ini­ti­ated the al­leged cor­rup­tion. This was af­ter the govern­ment said it could not take ac­tion be­cause there was no crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion. But there has been no com­mu­ni­ca­tion from the po­lice.”

But he vowed he would not rest un­til he was sat­is­fied.

“The re­al­ity is that this mat­ter won’t rest and we won’t let it end be­cause there are still ques­tions to be an­swered.”

On the mat­ter of the Fifa elec­tion, Malatsi said Tokyo Sexwale had been doomed to miss the Fifa pres­i­dency since CAF’s de­ci­sion not to back him.

“It was coura­geous of him to go all the way, even though he didn’t have suf­fi­cient sup­port to be a se­ri­ous con­tender af­ter CAF failed to back him. I also feel that Safa let him down.”

NON­SENSE Safa pres­i­dent Danny Jor­daan says he has noth­ing to hide

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