Mark Gleeson

Big clash - Khoza vs Jordaan

2009-09-25 08:07
Mark Gleeson
Mark Gleeson

It is rare an election for the leadership of a sporting organisation to have attracted as much mileage as the seemingly bitter fight between Irvin Khoza and Danny Jordaan for the top post in South African football.

Of all the fixtures this coming weekend, the poll to elect the new president of the South African Football Association is arguably the most keenly anticipated!

Insiders at both the Premier Soccer League and the 2010 Local Organising Committee tell me work has come to virtual standstill because of it. To be more precise, few crucial decisions have been taken as everything lies in limbo, awaiting the outcome of the contest.

Apparently, you have to be careful where you hitch your wagon. Just even being seen speaking to prominent people can have you placed in a camp or branded a supporter of one of the two candidates. So everyone is treading wearily around, seeking to stay out of the possible crossfire.

FIFA believes the election is a real impediment to the World Cup organisation and wants it postponed.

The general secretary of world football’s governing body, Jerome Valcke made an unusual threat a few weeks ago, saying whoever won could not serve on the organising committee.

He was speaking out of hat, of course, given there is no dictate that says so. It was rather a scare tactic to cajole the candidates into rather waiting to hold their contest after the 2010 finals have been completed.

But the possibility that the threat has had an effect could yet turn Saturday’s election in the biggest non-event of the year. If the constituents do agree to postpone the election, then I suppose it is their right to do so.

It would be stupid, however, because it just means the campaigning, the uncertainty, the weariness and the inactivity will just be prolonged.

Surely FIFA are not as naïve to think that if there is a postponement until after the World Cup. Khoza and Jordaan will return to their normal duties and put their campaigning on the back burner. No way, it just gives them more time for intrigue and mischief making.

SAFA should hold its election and be done with it. Neither candidate presents the best alternative for the future of South African football; both are driven by their personal agendas and egos and to date I have no heard either present a vision for what they will do in the job if they win Saturday’s poll.

Mark Gleeson is a respected television commentator and Editorial Director of Mzanzi Football.

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Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.
 

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