Johannesburg - Kaizer Chiefs boss Kaizer Motaung set the cat among the pigeons this week in an interview on Power FM when he did not seem to be fully supportive of Tokyo Sexwale’s candidature for the Fifa presidency.
After wishing Sexwale “all of the best”, the powerful soccer boss registered his doubts about the South African tycoon’s chances of winning the February 26 elections.
“My own personal view is that we have to be very realistic and not raise our expectations too high. Number one for me ... I don’t say he doesn’t understand football, but it’s an advantage if you come from a footballing setup, if you know the politics and dynamics of football, especially at that level where you are not dealing with just a local scenario but the entire world.”
He then criticised the way Sexwale had gone about announcing his candidature.
“The fact that he announced before that he already has support from countries like Germany, I think for me that was not a wise move on his part... He should have come home first to speak to Safa and then Safa carries him to CAF [Confederation of African Football], but it was the other way around. We obviously endorsed his candidacy, but he went to CAF at the 11th hour. It begs the question if CAF can support him ... I see an Asian candidate winning it.”
These opinions seemed to fly in the face of what Motaung told the Sunday Times earlier this month.
In its November 1 2015 edition, the weekly reported that “Sexwale has received the backing of Kaizer Chiefs chairman Kaizer Motaung, who believes a Sexwale victory will go a long way towards restoring the black man’s dignity”.
But other football personalities who City Press spoke to all endorsed Sexwale, who has Safa’s backing and addressed a full CAF executive.
Jomo Cosmos boss Jomo Sono said: “I think the race will be between Jérôme Champagne and Tokyo, but I support Tokyo as a South African. Fifa needs a good manager with financial and political acumen. Tokyo has both.
“He should take Danny Jordaan, Irvin Khoza and Molefi Oliphant along.”
Former Bafana Bafana skipper Neil Tovey said: “He is competing against some very powerful individuals, but it would be great and wonderful for South Africa if he became Fifa president.”
Bafana legend Phil Masinga said: “As a matter of national importance, I endorse Mr Sexwale’s candidature ... The man has been endorsed by Safa, and not an individual, as well as by other African and European countries.”
SA Masters and Legends Football Association president Buddha Mathathe said: “We endorse and support him because of his struggle credentials and his contribution towards our freedom as a country.”
Sexwale, who this week released his presidential manifesto, remains the only African candidate after Liberian Musa Bility was disqualified by Fifa’s ad hoc electoral committee after failing the integrity checks.
The other candidates are Prince Ali Bin al-Hussein, Sheikh Salman Bin Ibrahim al-Khalifa, Champagne and Gianni Infantino.
Sexwale’s manifesto, titled For a Renewed Fifa, highlights 11 key points.
* Meanwhile, City Press has learnt that Sexwale’s campaign goes into full swing this week.
Today, he travels to Denmark to honour an invitation by Nordic countries Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Denmark to address them in Copenhagen.
Attempts to get comments from Sexwale drew a blank this week, as he did not answer his phone or return messages left at his office.