‘Clean’ Jor­daan spills beans

The Safa chief says he’s not shaken by dol­lars in ‘brown’ en­velopes

Sunday World - - Sport - Xo­lile Mt­s­hazo

The African foot­ball fra­ter­nity has been hit by an­other bribery, cor­rup­tion and vo­terig­ging shame.

Al­le­ga­tions of “brown” en­velopes be­ing shoved un­der doors and lead­ing African foot­ball ad­min­is­tra­tors wo­ken up in the un-Godly hours to be of­fered bribes have resur­faced.

Those walk­ing the ho­tel cor­ri­dors in the dark ei­ther tar­get of­fi­cials to swing the votes in favour of a par­tic­u­lar can­di­date, or those stand­ing are so­licited to pay a bribe in or­der to get the votes.

Bizarrely, the al­le­ga­tions were made by the hon­ourable Safa pres­i­dent Danny Jor­daan dur­ing last week’s MSW Sports Show on Ra­dio 2000, claim­ing he was wo­ken up at 4am by a knock on the door of his ho­tel room to be of­fered a bribe. “I’ve never taken a bribe in my life,” de­clared Jor­daan on air.

The lo­cal foot­ball head hon­cho said two “brown” en­velopes con­tain­ing amounts of about $15 000 (R221 150) and $10 000 were of­fered to him but he re­fused to be cor­rupted.

At the time Jor­daan was a con­test­ing can­di­date to­gether with Malawi Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Wal­ter Nyami­landu-Manda and for­mer Tan­za­nia Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion pres­i­dent Leodgar Tenga, for a spot on the Fifa gen­eral coun­cil at the CAF congress in Egypt.

But he missed out on the spot af­ter he was beaten by Nyami­landu-Manda be­cause, as he said, he stood his ground and re­fused to be cor­rupted by tak­ing the two “brown” en­velopes. It’s un­clear whether or not the of­fered bribe re­quired him to with­draw his can­di­dacy.

This lat­est bribery scan­dal to hit the con­ti­nen­tal foot­ball body’s big­gest gath­er­ing is noth­ing new, and it seems it’s far from be­ing the last.

Just a few weeks ago, the foot­ball world was in shock when Fifa an­nounced it had slapped Zam­bia’s revered foot­ball of­fi­cial and soc­cer leg­end Kalusha Bwalya with a two-year ban for al­legedly ac­cept­ing a $80 000 (R1.2m) “gift” (bribe) from dis­cred­ited Qatari foot­ball of­fi­cial Mo­hamed bin Ham­mam.

The bomb­shell comes af­ter Ghana Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Kwesi Nyan­takyi was filmed tak­ing a bribe a few months ago.

Nyan­takyi had to step down from all his po­si­tions re­lated to foot­ball, in­clud­ing serv­ing on the CAF ex­ec­u­tive and the Fifa coun­cil, thus open­ing a po­si­tion for Jor­daan, who was a Cosafa-elected can­di­date, to con­test the va­cant po­si­tion.

Tenga fell out of con­tention af­ter the first round of vot­ing, leav­ing Jor­daan and Nyami­landu-Manda to do bat­tle for the va­cant An­glo­phone spot.

For Jor­daan, the de­feat was like be­ing hit un­der the belt. His am­bi­tion of be­ing a mem­ber of the Fifa coun­cil has been thwarted at elec­tions dogged by bribery al­le­ga­tions.

Be­sides the bribery in­ci­dent, it has how­ever emerged SA’s de­ci­sion to back a united bid of Canada‚ Mex­ico and the USA for the 2026 World Cup in­stead of Africa’s can­di­date Morocco has soured re­la­tions be­tween north­ern and south­ern Africa foot­ball as­so­ci­a­tions.

The cul­ture of bribery and cor­rup­tion has dogged African foot­ball for decades but Jor­daan wants us to be­lieve he is squeaky clean. A man not to mess with.

I won­der if CAF boss Ah­mad has beaten them rather than join­ing them.

/ Sim­phiwe Nk­wali.

Danny Jor­daan says he re­fused a bribe of sev­eral thou­sand dol­lars be­cause he did not want to be cor­rupted.

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