S'Busiso Mseleku

Phew! What a week in football

2015-09-28 12:04
Sport24 columnist S'Busiso Mseleku (File)

The saying "never a dull moment in football", could not have been more apt than in the past week.

Forget the shock 1-0 defeat of Kaizer Chiefs by a young Ajax Cape Town side, the happenings during the week, eclipsed all that.

In what has been called a political move, the DA (Democratic Alliance) laid charges of fraud and corruption against South African Football Association (SAFA) president Danny Jordaan and his predecessor Molefi Oliphant.

The charges stem from the controversy surrounding a $10 million payment made by FIFA to Concacaf for the "Diaspora Football Development Project" which US authorities have flagged as a bribe. The money was paid to Concacaf as per agreement between FIFA and the SA government.

The latest development in SA happened at a time when one of the country's best friends at FIFA, Secretary General Jérôme Valcke, had just been suspended on suspicions of being involved in a scam to inflate 2014 FIFA World Cup tickets. The authorities have since asked for all his emails.

Now, you see Valcke has been FIFA big boss Sepp Blatter's right-hand man for many moons.

It did not end there, Swiss Investigative authorities claimed to have unearthed a document bearing Blatter's signature that unlawfully gave the beleaguered former Concacaf boss Jack Warner some television broadcast rights that earned the latter's company millions of dollars.

Far away across the oceans in Trinidad and Tobago, the same Warner was fighting an extradition order by the US. A local court postponed its decision on the order to December 3.

And on Friday, Blatter had to cancel a press conference in a huff as Swiss Law Enforcement Authorities stormed his offices in search of evidence around another uncovered document containing information of a two million Francs payment to UEFA president Michel Platini for "services provided".

In South Africa, speculation continued over the future - or rather certainty thereof - of several PSL coaches as results refused to come.

And out of the blue emerged former Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter, adding fuel to the speculation that he was about to take over from the under siege Gordon Igesund at SuperSport United. Further speculation linked him up with other clubs such as Mamelodi Sundowns.

The weekend's result also did not do Igesund any good as his charges went down 3-1 to Cavin Johnson's Platinum Stars.

Pitso Mosimane might have received a stay of execution with a 2-0 victory over Jomo Cosmos on Sunday. This followed a 3-2 midweek victory over Ajax after which he was hounded out of the stadium by a bunch of unhappy supporters.

This just shows how brittle a life of a coach is and how fickle supporters can be as he was the darling of the club a few months ago after winning the Nedbank Cup.

And Orlando Pirates coach Eric Tinkler, whose side have a measly five points from five league matches, continued with their  conquests on the continent, beating Egyptian giants Al Ahly 1-0 in the first leg semi-final at Orlando Stadium.

SAFA also had their own gig in Cape Town where they hosted a gala dinner on Friday to send off Amajimbos - the SA Under-17 squad - to the World Cup in Chile.

Here, they received a R25 million windfall from sponsors Burger King for soccer development.

They followed with an extraordinary congress on Saturday and closed the weekend with a friendly match by the Under-17 against their Chilean (the World Cup hosts) at the Athlone Stadium.

Phew! What a week it was! I'm even out of breath just after penning this column.

S’Busiso Mseleku is regarded as one of Africa's leading sports journalists and an authority on football. He has received some of the biggest awards in a career spanning well over 20 years. He is currently City Press Sports Editor.

Disclaimer: 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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