JOHANNESBURG – Safa president Danny Jordaan says the decision to nominate Patrice Motsepe as president of Caf was because of his renowned global portfolio and love for the African game, hence he is a “revolutionary choice”.
In March 2021, Caf will convene an elective general assembly to appoint the new president of the federation when the initial four-year term of incumbent Ahmad Ahmad will have come to an end.
Safa, however, have swiftly shown where their support lies, throwing the name of philanthropist Motsepe into the hat. Safa are already publicly backed by three other associations – the Sierra Leone FA, Botswana FA and Nigeria Football Federation.
“The Safa national executive committee approved on a round-robin basis an overwhelming majority, the decision that we must support the candidature of Patrice Motsepe for the position of presidency for Caf,” said Jordaan at Safa House yesterday – three days before the nomination deadline closes.
“It (the nomination) is due to his business and football success that is well recorded in our country, continent and throughout the world. In 2017, Forbes Magazine, commemorated their centenary celebration by honouring Dr Patrice Motsepe as one of the 100 greatest living business minds in the world.”
Safa’s decision has been backed by the office of minister of sports, arts and culture Nathi Mthethwa, who said they will be on standby to give any form of support the campaign needs.
Motsepe is no stranger to African football.
He is currently the president of Mamelodi Sundowns, having bought the club in 2004. Through his financial backing, Sundowns are a force to be reckoned with locally and in Africa.
In 2016, Sundowns won the Caf Champions League, adding a star above their crest under the guidance of coach Pitso Mosimane. Last season, they won a domestic treble, which included the Premiership title as they won their 10th championship in the PSL era.
The 58-year-old mining mogul is a lawyer by profession.
But his stature in society, through business and football – albeit not being involved in the Safa hierarchy – equips him as someone competent enough to run African football.
“His business acumen, observance of governance, legal training, global business, networking and skill, his love for African football, makes him a revolutionary choice for the leadership of African football,” Jordaan explained.
Should Motsepe win the election, he will have to step down as Sundowns president.
But running a successful campaign is easier said than done, considering Ahmad will be running for a second term, while Jacques Anouma from Ivory Coast is also in the race.
The 60-year-old Ahmad, though, has his job cut out for him. He is under investigation for apparent involvement in Caf’s controversial deal with Tactical Steel, while the French anti-corruption authorities have also been looking at him since last year.
Ahmad’s vice-president Jordaan, though, argues they are not hoping to be victorious in the campaign through their opponents’ weaknesses, instead they are hoping that their strength and support from other associations will help them succeed.
“He (Ahmad) is aware that we are fielding a candidate. But you can never win on the perceived weakness or problems of your opposition. You can only win on your own strengths,” Jordaan said.