South-Africa

Sexwale euphoria punctured by damning local reports

2015-10-30 19:55
Tokyo Sexwale has been tipped as a candidate for the Fifa presidency. PHOTO: Markus Schreiber

The initial euphoria in South Africa over Tokyo Sexwale's confirmation earlier in the week that he was standing as a candidate to replace the disgraced Sepp Blatter as president of FIFA has speedily been punctured with the effect of a sophisticated, but back-to-earth balloon.

Sexwale wasted no time in  departing for the CAF congress in Cairo to seek the African continent's overall support for his bid after SAFA had earlier agreed to throw their weight behind the former Gauteng premier, anti-apartheid freedom-fighter and reputed billionaire business mogul.

But CAF have taken a stonewalling approach on the issue and revealed yesterday they will study the claims of all the FIFA presidential aspirants who have approached them, among them Asian president Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa, Prince Ali bin al-Hassan of Jordan and UEFA secretary-general Gianni Infantino, before coming up with a final decision.

At the same time, highly critical revelations and comments on Sexwale's FIFA bid in a leading Johannesburg-based weekly newspaper have placed a more sobering aspect on his candidacy.

Under the heading "Why Tokyo Sexwale is wrong for FIFA" the paper writes that "Sexwale's past is littered with controversies involving secretive deals and problematic partners.'"

And it follows up with a strongly-worded editorial under the heading "FIFA must say 'no' to cagey Tokyo."

Also under scrutiny is Sheikh Salman for reportedly assisting the Bahrain government in putting down the protests of anti-race activists - something the Asia president has hotly disputed.

The initial favourite to replace Blatter as president, UEFA president and former French footballing icon, Michel Platini, remains among the candidates despite a 90-day suspension while investigations continue over a dubious payment of more than R20 million made to him by FIFA.

And in the wake of the embarrassments that continue to haunt FIFA, the "Mr Clean" image of Prince Ali bin al-Hassan, who showed courage and integrity in opposing Blatter in the last elections before the sitting president had been exposed, stands out like a shining beacon.

Read more on:    fifa  |  tokyo sexwale  |  soccer

 

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