Jordaan seeks FIFA seat
Johannesburg - Danny Jordaan, a key figure behind the successful staging of the 2010 Soccer World Cup in South Africa, hopes to win a FIFA executive committee place at elections in Sudan on Wednesday.
A couple of seats on world governing body FIFA and six executive positions on African ruling organisation CAF are up for grabs when officials from 53 member states gather at the Friendship Hall in capital city Khartoum.
Nigerian Ibrahim Galadima, Ivorian Jacques Anouma, Algerian Mohamed Raouraoua and Seychellois Suketu Patel are competing with Jordaan for two positions on the 24-man executive that runs international football.
Zambian Kalusha Bwalya, whose hat-trick against Italy at the 1988 Seoul Olympics propelled him to become the only southern Africa star to be voted African Footballer of the Year, withdrew from the contest.
Anouma is seeking re-election for a second four-year term while the other outgoing African representative, Nigerian Amos Adamu, is serving a three-year ban from all activities after being trapped in a pre-World Cup newspaper sting.
Adamu told London Sunday Times reporters posing as lobbyists for the 2022 United States bid that $800 000 should be transferred into his account to pay for four football pitches in Nigeria.
The Nigerian denies the corruption charges, saying his quotes were taken out of context, and after an appeal to FIFA failed this month he took the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland.
Jordaan stresses he is taking nothing for granted despite the widespread African media view that he is certain to be elected on the back of playing a crucial role in the near-flawless running of the World Cup.
"Elections are strange things," he stressed in a TV interview. "This is not about Danny Jordaan, this is about South Africa. The country has become a major player internationally since the World Cup."
The 59-year-old former MP with the ruling African National Congress (ANC) had to endure years of scepticism - particularly from sections of the European media who considered Africa incapable of staging such a massive event.
History also favours Jordaan from the Eastern Cape city Port Elizabeth as key organisers of the three World Cup tournaments preceding South Africa -- Michel Platini, Junji Ogura and Franz Beckenbauer -- all landed FIFA seats.
Tunisian Tarek Bouchamaoui, Guinean Almamy Camara and Congolese Omari Constant are guaranteed to fill three of the CAF places as they have no opponents in their regions.
CAF vice-president General Seye Memene from Togo is not seeking re-election, opening the door for impressive Ghanaian administrator Kwesi Nyantakyi, who has been given much credit for the upsurge of the 'Black Stars' national team.
How many opponents Nyantakyi will face is unclear as a CAF statement named Beninoise Anjorin Moucharafou and Togolese Tata Avlessi, but the latter told the BBC he had withdrawn and would back the Ghanaian.
Another vice-president stepping aside is South African Molefi Oliphant and CAF said Jordaan, Bwalya, Angolan Justino Fernandes, Namibian John Muinjo, Malawian Walter Nyamilandu and Swazi Adam Mthethwa would contest the seat.
However, Jordaan has said several times he is concentrating on the FIFA election and also criticised the large number of candidates from the southern region, saying "no more than two" names should have been put forward.