Cape Town - South African Minister of Sport, Fikile Mbalula has issued a statement congratulating new FIFA president, Gianni Infantino as well as South African candidate, Tokyo Sexwale.
Sexwale, who withdraw from the FIFA presidential race on the final day, never garnered much support throughout his campaign.
Infantino, a late entrant into the race after UEFA president Michel Platini received a six year ban from FIFA, won after two rounds of voting on Friday, securing victory over Asian Football Confederation president Sheikh Salman by 115 votes to 88.
Mbalula's statement reads as follows:
"In the aftermath of the election of FIFA President yesterday, we take our hats off to one of our own, Tokyo Sexwale, who fought a good fight and stood head and shoulders with the Titans of world football. We are deeply encouraged that as a country we have produced capable leadership who have the tenacity, the stature and the capacity to contest leadership roles such as the one for FIFA President.
Tokyo Sexwale represented us well, carrying the South African flag high among the nations of the world. He may not have won the election of FIFA President, but he won the race as a capable leader whose magnanimity will continue to do us proud for generations to come. He gave us a voice and made us count as a country and as a continent. We may not have won the FIFA Presidency this time around, but Africa’s moment to lead world football will come.
Our heartfelt congratulations to Gianni Infantino, the new President of FIFA. He assumes the mettle at a time world football is desperate for leadership that is able to steer the ship through troubled waters. We have no doubt that Gianni Infantino is the man for the job, and has the skill, the staying power and the capacity to take FIFA to new heights and restore its dignity. His humility and track record gives us comfort that world football has entered a new era full of hope and promise for a better tomorrow."